Jupiter's decisive role in the inner Solar System's early evolution.
ABSTRACT: The statistics of extrasolar planetary systems indicate that the default mode of planet formation generates planets with orbital periods shorter than 100 days and masses substantially exceeding that of the Earth. When viewed in this context, the Solar System is unusual. Here, we present simulations which show that a popular formation scenario for Jupiter and Saturn, in which Jupiter migrates inward from a > 5 astronomical units (AU) to a ? 1.5 AU before reversing direction, can explain the low overall mass of the Solar System's terrestrial planets, as well as the absence of planets with a < 0.4 AU. Jupiter's inward migration entrained s ? 10-100 km planetesimals into low-order mean motion resonances, shepherding and exciting their orbits. The resulting collisional cascade generated a planetesimal disk that, evolving under gas drag, would have driven any preexisting short-period planets into the Sun. In this scenario, the Solar System's terrestrial planets formed from gas-starved mass-depleted debris that remained after the primary period of dynamical evolution.
Project description:The Ru-Mo isotopic compositions of inner Solar System bodies may reflect the provenance of accreted material and how it evolved with time, both of which are controlled by the accretion scenario these bodies experienced. Here we use a total of 116 N-body simulations of terrestrial planet accretion, run in the Eccentric Jupiter and Saturn (EJS), Circular Jupiter and Saturn (CJS), and Grand Tack scenarios, to model the Ru-Mo anomalies of Earth, Mars, and Theia analogues. This model starts by applying an initial step function in Ru-Mo isotopic composition, with compositions reflecting those in meteorites, and traces compositional evolution as planets accrete. The mass-weighted provenance of the resulting planets reveals more radial mixing in Grand Tack simulations than in EJS/CJS simulations, and more efficient mixing among late-accreted material than during the main phase of accretion in EJS/CJS simulations. We find that an extensive homogenous inner disk region is required to reproduce Earth's observed Ru-Mo composition. EJS/CJS simulations require a homogeneous reservoir in the inner disk extending to ?3-4 AU (?74-98% of initial mass) to reproduce Earth's composition, while Grand Tack simulations require a homogeneous reservoir extending to ?3-10 AU (?97-99% of initial mass), and likely to ?6-10 AU. In the Grand Tack model, Jupiter's initial location (the most likely location for a discontinuity in isotopic composition) is ~3.5 AU; however, this step location has only a 33% likelihood of producing an Earth with the correct Ru-Mo isotopic signature for the most plausible model conditions. Our results give the testable predictions that Mars has zero Ru anomaly and small or zero Mo anomaly, and the Moon has zero Mo anomaly. These predictions are insensitive to wide variations in parameter choices.
Project description:Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids.
Project description:Chondrules are millimeter-sized spherules that dominate primitive meteorites (chondrites) originating from the asteroid belt. The incorporation of chondrules into asteroidal bodies must be an important step in planet formation, but the mechanism is not understood. We show that the main growth of asteroids can result from gas drag-assisted accretion of chondrules. The largest planetesimals of a population with a characteristic radius of 100 km undergo runaway accretion of chondrules within ~3 My, forming planetary embryos up to Mars's size along with smaller asteroids whose size distribution matches that of main belt asteroids. The aerodynamical accretion leads to size sorting of chondrules consistent with chondrites. Accretion of millimeter-sized chondrules and ice particles drives the growth of planetesimals beyond the ice line as well, but the growth time increases above the disc lifetime outside of 25 AU. The contribution of direct planetesimal accretion to the growth of both asteroids and Kuiper belt objects is minor. In contrast, planetesimal accretion and chondrule accretion play more equal roles in the formation of Moon-sized embryos in the terrestrial planet formation region. These embryos are isolated from each other and accrete planetesimals only at a low rate. However, the continued accretion of chondrules destabilizes the oligarchic configuration and leads to the formation of Mars-sized embryos and terrestrial planets by a combination of direct chondrule accretion and giant impacts.
Project description:Juno ultraviolet spectrograph (UVS) observations of Jupiter's aurora obtained during approach are presented. Prior to the bow shock crossing on 24 June 2016, the Juno approach provided a rare opportunity to correlate local solar wind conditions with Jovian auroral emissions. Some of Jupiter's auroral emissions are expected to be controlled or modified by local solar wind conditions. Here we compare synoptic Juno-UVS observations of Jupiter's auroral emissions, acquired during 3-29 June 2016, with in situ solar wind observations, and related Jupiter observations from Earth. Four large auroral brightening events are evident in the synoptic data, in which the total emitted auroral power increases by a factor of 3-4 for a few hours. Only one of these brightening events correlates well with large transient increases in solar wind ram pressure. The brightening events which are not associated with the solar wind generally have a risetime of ~2 h and a decay time of ~5 h.
Project description:Building the terrestrial planets has been a challenge for planet formation models. In particular, classical theories have been unable to reproduce the small mass of Mars and instead predict that a planet near 1.5 astronomical units (AU) should roughly be the same mass as Earth. Recently, a new model called Viscously Stirred Pebble Accretion (VSPA) has been developed that can explain the formation of the gas giants. This model envisions that the cores of the giant planets formed from 100- to 1,000-km bodies that directly accreted a population of pebbles-submeter-sized objects that slowly grew in the protoplanetary disk. Here we apply this model to the terrestrial planet region and find that it can reproduce the basic structure of the inner solar system, including a small Mars and a low-mass asteroid belt. Our models show that for an initial population of planetesimals with sizes similar to those of the main belt asteroids, VSPA becomes inefficient beyond ∼ 1.5 AU. As a result, Mars's growth is stunted, and nothing large in the asteroid belt can accumulate.
Project description:In the inner solar system, the planets' orbits evolve chaotically, driven primarily by secular chaos. Mercury has a particularly chaotic orbit and is in danger of being lost within a few billion years. Just as secular chaos is reorganizing the solar system today, so it has likely helped organize it in the past. We suggest that extrasolar planetary systems are also organized to a large extent by secular chaos. A hot Jupiter could be the end state of a secularly chaotic planetary system reminiscent of the solar system. However, in the case of the hot Jupiter, the innermost planet was Jupiter (rather than Mercury) sized, and its chaotic evolution was terminated when it was tidally captured by its star. In this contribution, we review our recent work elucidating the physics of secular chaos and applying it to Mercury and to hot Jupiters. We also present results comparing the inclinations of hot Jupiters thus produced with observations.
Project description:Aerosols are ubiquitous in planetary atmospheres in the Solar System. However, radiative forcing on Jupiter has traditionally been attributed to solar heating and infrared cooling of gaseous constituents only, while the significance of aerosol radiative effects has been a long-standing controversy. Here we show, based on observations from the NASA spacecraft Voyager and Cassini, that gases alone cannot maintain the global energy balance in the middle atmosphere of Jupiter. Instead, a thick aerosol layer consisting of fluffy, fractal aggregate particles produced by photochemistry and auroral chemistry dominates the stratospheric radiative heating at middle and high latitudes, exceeding the local gas heating rate by a factor of 5-10. On a global average, aerosol heating is comparable to the gas contribution and aerosol cooling is more important than previously thought. We argue that fractal aggregate particles may also have a significant role in controlling the atmospheric radiative energy balance on other planets, as on Jupiter.
Project description:Observations from the Juno and Cassini missions provide essential constraints on the internal structures and compositions of Jupiter and Saturn, resulting in profound revisions of our understanding of the interior and atmospheres of Gas Giant planets. The next step to understand planetary origins in our Solar System requires a mission to their Ice Giant siblings, Uranus and Neptune.
Project description:Convective motion in the deep metallic hydrogen region of Jupiter is believed to generate its magnetic field, the strongest in the solar system. The amplitude, structure and depth of the convective motion are unknown. A promising way of probing the Jovian convective dynamo is to measure its effect on the external gravitational field, a task to be soon undertaken by the Juno spacecraft. We calculate the gravitational signature of non-axisymmetric convective motion in the Jovian metallic hydrogen region and show that with sufficiently accurate measurements it can reveal the nature of the deep convection.
Project description:Early in the Solar System's history, energetic collisions of differentiated bodies affected the final composition of the terrestrial planets through partial destruction. Enstatite chondrites (EC) are the best candidates to represent the primordial terrestrial precursors as they present the most similar isotopic compositions to Earth. Here we report that collisional erosion of >15% of the early Earth's mass can reconcile the remaining compositional differences between EC and the Earth. We base our demonstration on experimental melting of an EC composition at pressures between 1 bar and 25 GPa. At low pressures, the first silicate melts are highly enriched in incompatible elements Si, Al and Na, and depleted in Mg. Loss of proto-crusts through impacts raises the Earth's Mg/Si ratio to its present value. To match all major element compositions, our model implies preferential loss of volatile lithophile elements and re-condensation of refractory lithophile elements after the impacts.