Low-velocity collision behaviour of clusters composed of sub-millimetre sized dust aggregates⋆
1 Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Mendelssohnstr. 3, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
2 Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
3 Present address: Centre of Microgravity Research, University of Central Florida, 4111 Libra Drive, Orlando FL-32816, USA
Received: 23 December 2016
Accepted: 29 March 2017
Context. The experiment results presented apply to the very first stages of planet formation, when small dust aggregates collide in the protoplanetary disc and grow into bigger clusters. In 2011, before flying on the REXUS 12 suborbital rocket in 2012, the Suborbital Particle and Aggregation Experiment (SPACE) performed drop tower flights. We present the results of this first microgravity campaign.
Aims. The experiments presented aim to measure the outcome of collisions between sub-mm sized protoplanetary dust aggregate analogues. We also observed the clusters formed from these aggregates and their collision behaviour.
Methods. The experiments were performed at the drop tower in Bremen. The protoplanetary dust analogue materials were micrometre-sized monodisperse and polydisperse SiO2 particles prepared into aggregates with sizes between 120 μm and 250 μm. One of the dust samples contained aggregates that were previously compacted through repeated bouncing. During three flights of 9 s of microgravity each, individual collisions between aggregates and the formation of clusters of up to a few millimetres in size were observed. In addition, the collisions of clusters with the experiment cell walls leading to compaction or fragmentation were recorded.
Results. We observed collisions amongst dust aggregates and collisions between dust clusters and the cell aluminium walls at speeds ranging from about 0.1 cm s-1 to 20 cm s-1. The velocities at which sticking occurred ranged from 0.18 to 5.0 cm s-1 for aggregates composed of monodisperse dust, with an average value of 2.1 ± 0.9 cm s-1 for reduced masses ranging from 1.2 × 10-6 to 1.8 × 10-3 g with an average value of 2.2+16-2.1 × 10-4 g. The velocities at which bouncing occurred ranged from 1.9 to 11.9 cm s-1 for the same aggregates with an average of 5.9 ± 3.2 cm s-1 for reduced masses ranging from 2.1 × 10-6 to 2.4 × 10-4 with an average of 7.8 ± 2.4 × 10-5 g. The velocities at which fragmentation occurred ranged from 4.9 to 23.8 cm s-1 for the same aggregates with an average of 10.1 ± 3.2 cm s-1 for reduced masses ranging from 1.2 × 10-5 to 1.2 × 10-3 with an average value of 4.2 ± 2.4 × 10-4 g. From the restructuring and fragmentation of clusters composed of dust aggregates colliding with the aluminium cell walls, we derived a collision recipe for dust aggregates (~100 μm) following the model of Dominik & Tielens (1997, ApJ, 480, 647) developed for microscopic particles. We measured a critical rolling energy of 1.8 ± 0.9 × 10-13 J and a critical breaking energy of 3.5 ± 1.5 × 10-13 J for 100 μm-sized non-compacted aggregates.
Key words: planets and satellites: formation / protoplanetary disks
A movie associated to Fig. 3 is available at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2017