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Quantifying the Consequences of Giant Impact Debris Production during Terrestrial Planet Formation

Presentation #517.02 in the session Origins of Planetary Systems (iPosters).

Published onOct 20, 2022
Quantifying the Consequences of Giant Impact Debris Production during Terrestrial Planet Formation

The final accretion of inner planets occurred during a series of excitations from the giant planets. A scenario achieving successful terrestrial planet formation is expected to match the following constraints: the small eccentricities of planetary orbits, the masses of the terrestrial planets, specifically Mars’ small mass, the structure of the asteroid belt, Earth’s large water content, and the formation timescales of Earth and Mars. Different terrestrial planet formation scenarios invoke different mechanisms to satisfy all of these constraints such as an early instability, a Grand Tack, a truncated disk, or an excited giant planet system. However, prior exploration of these scenarios have not considered imperfect accretion. Here, we use an astrophysical N-body integrator to model the dynamics of bodies in the protoplanetary disk and modified to model the outcomes of debris-producing collisions using an algorithm that is a function of the giant impact’s mass ratio, impact angle and velocity (Leinhardt & Stewart, 2009). Given a wide range of masses in a simulation, it is expected that dynamical friction will occur, affecting the inclinations and eccentricities of small and large bodies. Analyzing results from these simulations to look at the degree of this orbital excitation in terms of mass weighted eccentricity and the angular momentum deficit will allow for a deeper understanding of the changing inclinations and eccentricities of bodies. Additionally, we want to analyze the potentially varying locations of debris particles produced at different times in our simulations. Specifically, we are interested in comparing the locations of particles produced in early collisions to those produced in later collisions. The combination of these results will provide a clear overview of the movements and behavior of planetary debris during planet formation.

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