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Simulations of water delivery to the inner planets.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

It is generally assumed that the temperature in the inner part of the primordial nebula was too high to form and agglomerate ice bodies. Yet, water is present in most of the terrestrial planets of our solar system. To investigate the reason for this we concentrate on comets as a potential water deliverer to the inner planets. The data for this work is taken from 3D simulations of comet trajectories inside a gas-dust disk with embedded planet embryos. We have developed a MATLAB code that could read data files from these simulations containing orbital elements of the comets and planetary embryos. Comets experience inward migration due to friction with the remains of the disk. We study comets of four different sizes.

     We find that smaller comets migrate faster and therefore spend less time in the inner solar system. Smaller comets are numerous and are therefore destroyed in greater numbers than the larger comets. Larger comets on the other hand slow their migration and spending much more time among inner planets they are more massive and produce more massive collisions with the inner planets than the smaller comets. Therefore are larger comets a more promising source of water delivery to the inner planets. In Studying individual collisions we observe that a typical interaction involves regular close encounters with the same embryo during periods of 100000 years or more before the two orbits intersect. This also tells us that with a large number of comets expected at this stage of solar system evolution the collective effect of comets on low-mass planetary embryos may be significant.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
water, comet, simulation, nebula, eccentricity
National Category
Physical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-211217OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-211217DiVA: diva2:665991
Educational program
Teacher Education Programme
Available from: 2013-11-22 Created: 2013-11-21 Last updated: 2013-11-22Bibliographically approved

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