4 years ago

Debris Disc Constraints on Planetesimal Formation.

Alexander V. Krivov, Jürgen Blum, Torsten Löhne, Aljoscha Ide, Anders Johansen

Two basic routes for planetesimal formation have been proposed over the last few decades. One is a classical "slow-growth" scenario. Another one is particle concentration models, in which small pebbles are concentrated locally and then collapse gravitationally to form planetesimals. Both types of models make certain predictions for the size spectrum and internal structure of newly-born planetesimals. We use these predictions as input to simulate collisional evolution of debris discs left after the gas dispersal. The debris disc emission as a function of a system's age computed in these simulations is compared with several Spitzer and Herschel debris disc surveys around A-type stars. We confirm that the observed brightness evolution for the majority of discs can be reproduced by classical models. Further, we find that it is equally consistent with the size distribution of planetesimals predicted by particle concentration models - provided the objects are loosely bound "pebble piles" as these models also predict. Regardless of the assumed planetesimal formation mechanism, explaining the brightest debris discs in the samples uncovers a "disc mass problem." To reproduce such discs by collisional simulations, a total mass of planetesimals of up to ~1000 Earth masses is required, which exceeds the total mass of solids available in the protoplanetary progenitors of debris discs. This may indicate that stirring was delayed in some of the bright discs, that giant impacts occurred recently in some of them, that some systems may be younger than previously thought, or that non-collisional processes contribute significantly to the dust production.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1711.03490

DOI: arXiv:1711.03490v1

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.