2007 Annual Science Report
University of Hawaii, Manoa Reporting | JUL 2006 – JUN 2007
Understanding the Effect of the Atmosphere of a Growing Jupiter on Capturing Planetesimals
The gravitational instability model of giant planet formation suggests that planets are formed in regions where gas and dust particles are concentrated. When the core of a giant planet is form, the remaining gaseous envelope plays an important role in capturing km-sized objects and incorporating them into the growth of the giant planet. In collaboration with M. Podolack at the University of Tel Aviv, Haghighipour has started a new project to investigate the effect of gas drag in capturing small bodies during giant planet formation. This project has recently been started and is still at its early stages. Haghighipour and Podolack are planning to numerically integrate the orbits of planetesimals with different velocities and study how they response to the frictional force of the gas. Their plan is to map the parameter-space of the system to identify the probable velocities for small objects that result in their collision with the giant planet’s central core.