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57 pages, including 12 figures and 7 tables, accepted for publication in Icarus Ice Lines, Planetesimal Composition and Solid Surface Density in the Solar Nebula

By Sarah E. Dodson-robinson, Karen Willacy, Peter Bodenheimer, Neal J. Turner and Charles A. Beichman


To date, there is no core accretion simulation that can successfully account for the formation of Uranus or Neptune within the observed 2-3 Myr lifetimes of protoplanetary disks. Since solid accretion rate is directly proportional to the available planetesimal surface density, one way to speed up planet formation is to take a full accounting of all the planetesimal-forming solids present in the solar – 2 – nebula. By combining a viscously evolving protostellar disk with a kinetic model of ice formation, which includes not just water but methane, ammonia, CO and 54 minor ices, we calculate the solid surface density of a possible giant planetforming solar nebula as a function of heliocentric distance and time. Our results can be used to provide the starting planetesimal surface density and evolving solar nebula conditions for core accretion simulations, or to predict the composition of planetesimals as a function of radius. We find three effects that favor giant planet formation by the core accretion mechanism: (1) a decretion flow that brings mass from the inner solar nebula t

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