A pebbles accretion model with chemistry and implications for the Solar system

Mohamad Ali-Dib

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We investigate the chemical composition of the Solar system's giant planets atmospheres using a physical formation model with chemistry. The model incorporate disc evolution, pebbles and gas accretion, type I and II migration, simplified disc photoevaporation and Solar system chemical measurements. We track the chemical compositions of the formed giant planets and compare them to the observed values. Two categories of models are studied: with and without disc chemical enrichment via photoevaporation (PE). Predictions for the oxygen and nitrogen abundances, core masses and total amount of heavy elements for the planets are made for each case. We find that in the case without disc PE, both Jupiter and Saturn will have a small residual core and comparable total amounts of heavy elements in the envelopes. We predict oxygen abundances enrichments in the same order as carbon, phosphorus and sulfur for both planets. Cometary nitrogen abundances does not allow us to easily reproduce Jupiter's nitrogen observations. In the case with disc PE, less core erosion is needed to reproduce the chemical composition of the atmospheres, so both planets will end up with possibly more massive residual cores and higher total mass of heavy elements. It is also significantly easier to reproduce Jupiter's nitrogen abundance. No single disc was found to form both Jupiter and Saturn with all their constraints in the case without photoevaporation. No model was able to fit the constraints on Uranus and Neptune, hinting towards a more complicated formation mechanism for these planets. The predictions of these models should be compared to the upcoming Juno measurements to better understand the origins of the Solar system giant planets.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)4282-4298
    Number of pages17
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


    • Planets and satellites: composition
    • Planets and satellites: formation
    • Planets and satellites: gaseous planets

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science


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