Numerically Predicted Indirect Signatures of Terrestrial Planet Formation

Zoë M. Leinhardt, Jack Dobinson, Philip J. Carter, Stefan Lines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
358 Downloads (Pure)


The intermediate phases of planet formation are not directly observable due to lack of emission from planetesimals. Planet formation is, however, a dynamically active process resulting in collisions between the evolving planetesimals and the production of dust. Thus, indirect observation of planet formation may indeed be possible in the near future. In this paper we present synthetic observations based on numerical N-body simulations of the intermediate phase of planet formation including a state-of-the-art collision model, EDACM, which allows multiple collision outcomes, such as, accretion, erosion, and bouncing events. We show that the formation of planetary embryos may be indirectly observable by a fully functioning ALMA telescope if the surface area involved in planetesimal evolution is sufficiently large and/or the amount of dust produced in the collisions is sufficiently high in mass.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 9
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Date of Acceptance: 15/04/2015


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