- Published on 20 October 2015
In section 10. Planets and planetary systems
The growth of planets by pebble accretion in evolving protoplanetary discs
The authors describe new simulations and analysis of the growth of planets in an evolving protoplanetary disk, focusing on the questions of how the observed diversity of planets arises, how planets survive migration driven by tidal interactions with the disk, and what the mechanism is for forming gas-giant planets. They show that ``pebble accretion'' (the rapid sweep up of cm-to-m size particles by protoplanets in a gas disk) is likely to be the main driver of giant planet formation, rather than the accretion of asteroid-size planetesimals. They also find that giant planets can form and survive nominal migration rates in an evolving disk. The authors also improve previous population synthesis models, and address whether the same model can explain the properties of the planets in the solar system, including the initial conditions for the Nice model and Grand Tack hypothesis.