On the Feeding Zone of Planetesimal Formation by the Streaming Instability

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The streaming instability is a promising mechanism to overcome the barriers in direct dust growth and lead to the formation of planetesimals. Most previous studies of the streaming instability, however, were focused on a local region of a protoplanetary disk with a limited simulation domain such that only one filamentary concentration of solids has been observed. The characteristic separation between filaments is therefore not known. To address this, we conduct the largest-scale simulations of the streaming instability to date, with computational domains up to 1.6 gas scale heights both horizontally and vertically. The large dynamical range allows the effect of vertical gas stratification to become prominent. We observe more frequent merging and splitting of filaments in simulation boxes of high vertical extent. We find multiple filamentary concentrations of solids with an average separation of about 0.2 local gas scale heights, much higher than the most unstable wavelength from linear stability analysis. This measures the characteristic separation of planetesimal forming events driven by the streaming instability and thus the initial feeding zone of planetesimals.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi


TidskriftAstrophysical Journal
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2014
Peer review utfördJa