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Building Terrestrial Planets

Author: Alessandro Morbidelli, Jonathan I. Lunine, David P. O`brien, Se
Url: http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.4694
Format: Ps, Pdf
Year: 2012
Category: Planetology
Pages: 30
Clicks: 770

This paper reviews our current understanding of terrestrial planets formation. The focus is on computer simulations of the dynamical aspects of the accretion process. Throughout the chapter, we combine the results of these theoretical models with geochemical, cosmochemical and chronological constraints, in order to outline a comprehensive scenario of the early evolution of our Solar System. Given that the giant planets formed first in the protoplanetary disk, we stress the sensitive dependence of the terrestrial planet accretion process on the orbital architecture of the giant planets and on their evolution. This suggests a great diversity among the terrestrial planets populations in extrasolar systems. Issues such as the cause for the different masses and accretion timescales between Mars and the Earth and the origin of water (and other volatiles) on our planet are discussed at depth.

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