Sunday, November 08, 2015

Attempting to Explain the Formation of the Galilean Moons

A semi-analytical model for exploring Galilean satellites formation from a massive disk


Miguel et al


A better knowledge of Jovian satellites' origins will bring light on the environment that surrounded Jupiter during its formation and can help us to understand the characteristics of this unique satellite system. We developed a semi-analytical model to investigate Jupiter's regular satellite formation and present the results of our population synthesis calculations. We performed simulations adopting a massive, static, low-viscosity circumplanetary disk model, in agreement with a current study of magnetorotational instability in a circum-planetary disk. We find that the high gas density leads to very rapid migration of satellitesimals due to gas drag and type II migration of satellites in a faster disk-dominated mode. A large concentration of solids, large building blocks and longer type II migration time-scales favor formation and survival of large satellites. However, bodies as massive as Ganymede and those located far away from Jupiter, such as Callisto, are difficult to form with this scenario.

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