Growth rate of a migrating protoplanet

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We investigated the collision rate (i.e., the growth rate) of a migrating protoplanet with planetesimals. The collision rate strongly depends on the orbital elements of planetesimals (e.g., their eccentricities and inclinations). Thus we calculated the orbital evolutions of 2000 planetesimals in the vicinity of the migrating protoplanet and obtained the collision rate by counting the number of collisions with the protoplanet. For slow migration, the protoplanet makes a gap around its orbit in the planetesimals disk. On the other hand, for rapid migration, the protoplanet cannot shepherd planetesimals and keeps catching planetesimals. The obtained collision rate becomes larger with an increase in the migration speed. The comparison of the obtained collision rates with that of the previous work with no migration shows that the rapid migration of a protoplanet can enhance the collision rate by more than the factor 10. Using the obtained collision rate, we examined the growth of a migrating protoplanet. Our results suggest that, due to the enhancement of the collision rate, planets can be formed before they fall to the sun.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-552
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth, Part C: Solar, Terrestrial and Planetary Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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