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Coupling SPH Giant Impact Models with a Modified SyMBA code to simulate Lunar Formation

Presentation #207.11 in the session Planetary Origins Dynamics Posters.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Coupling SPH Giant Impact Models with a Modified SyMBA code to simulate Lunar Formation

The prevailing theory regarding the creation of our Moon is the giant impact hypothesis,which states that a collision between early Earth and a Mars-sized planetary embryo led to the formation of a circumplanetary disk about the Earth consisting of ejected impact debris, which the moon eventually accreted from. One current model of this process of lunar formation is HydroSyMBA, a modified SyMBA code that utilizes an N-body integrator for the outer accretion disk of a lunar forming region and a 1D hydrocode for the conditions of the inner disk. Although many strides have been made numerically in modeling exactly how our Earth-Moon system is created, one area that remains to be explored in detail is the coupling of actual simulated giant impact data with these numerical integrators. While recent smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) models at high resolutions of around 108 particles have led to many insights regarding the impact process itself, and the resulting circumplanetary disk, these simulations can only be run for hours of simulated time due to their extreme computational cost. However, the accretion of the Moon from the formed circumplanetary disk takes centuries to millennia. Thus, here we propose utilizing these SPH giant impact models to receive the input parameters needed for the HydroSyMBA code, which will allow us to fully simulate lunar formation from the starting initial conditions of the circumplanetary disk at a much lower cost. We will first test our code on the circumplanetary disk conditions resulting from the giant impact that created our Moon, with the goal of replicating the Earth-Moon system. However, our results will have applications beyond just replicating the Earth-Moon system. We plan to run this code on multiple kinds of impact SPH models, which will help us understand how specific impact models correspond to the final accreted Moons. By varying aspects of the giant impacts that create the circumplanetary disks, we will gain a better and more extensive understanding of what kinds of moons form from them.

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