Geometric cross sections of dust aggregates and a compression model for aggregate collisions

Toru Suyama, Koji Wada, Hidekazu Tanaka, Satoshi Okuzumi

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Geometric cross sections of dust aggregates determine their coupling with disk gas, which governs their motions in protoplanetary disks. Collisional outcomes also depend on geometric cross sections of initial aggregates. In a previous paper, we performed three-dimensional N-body simulations of sequential collisions of aggregates composed of a number of sub-micron-sized icy particles and examined radii of gyration (and bulk densities) of the obtained aggregates. We showed that collisional compression of aggregates is not efficient and that aggregates remain fluffy. In the present study, we examine geometric cross sections of the aggregates. Their cross sections decrease due to compression as well as to their gyration radii. It is found that a relation between the cross section and the gyration radius proposed by Okuzumi et al. is valid for the compressed aggregates. We also refine the compression model proposed in our previous paper. The refined model enables us to calculate the evolution of both gyration radii and cross sections of growing aggregates and reproduces well our numerical results of sequential aggregate collisions. The refined model can describe non-equal-mass collisions as well as equal-mass cases. Although we do not take into account oblique collisions in the present study, oblique collisions would further hinder compression of aggregates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jul 10


  • circumstellar matter
  • dust extinction
  • protoplanetary disks


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