Simulation of the formation of super-Earths in a protoplanetary disk

This is a simulation of the planet formation process. The simulation begins with 125 planetary embryos, each with 0.4 times the mass of the Earth. The gray region marks the height of the protoplanetary disk. At the beginning of the simulation the embryos have strong gravitational encounters that increase their orbital inclinations (y-axis) and leads to many collisions. After the embryos merge into larger bodies, interactions with the disk cause the eccentricities and inclinations to drop and the protoplanets form a chain of mean motion resonances. The new protoplanets also experience torques from the disk that remove orbital angular momentum and causes the planets to drop to lower orbits. While the planets migrate through the disk, they accrete gas from the disk. The color of each body shows the fraction of their mass that is in the gaseous envelope. After the disk dissipates, the planetary system becomes dynamically unstable and two new waves of giant impacts occur. This leaves behind a planetary system with larger planet masses, smaller gas envelopes, and higher mutual inclinations.


  • movie-v1.mp4

    size: 20.2 MB | mime_type: video/mp4 | date: 2018-08-21 | sha256: 3d033a4


Work Title Simulation of the formation of super-Earths in a protoplanetary disk
Open Access
  1. Daniel Carrera
  1. super-Earths
  2. Planet formation
  3. Exoplanets
License CC BY 4.0 (Attribution)
Work Type Video
DOI doi:10.18113/S1206D
Deposited August 21, 2018




This resource is currently not in any collection.

Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added movie-v1.mp4
  • Added Creator Daniel Carrera
  • Published