Growth and form of planetary seedlings: Results from a microgravity aggregation experiment

J. Blum, G. Wurm, S. Kempf, T. Poppe, H. Klahr, T. Kozasa, M. Rott, T. Henning, J. Dorschner, R. Schräpler, H. U. Keller, W. J. Markiewicz, I. Mann, B. A.S. Gustafson, F. Giovane, D. Neuhaus, H. Fechtig, E. Grün, B. Feuerbacher, H. KochanL. Ratke, A. El Goresy, G. Morfill, S. J. Weidenschilling, G. Schwehm, K. Metzler, W. H. Ip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations

Abstract

The outcome of the first stage of planetary formation, which is characterized by ballistic agglomeration of preplanetary dust grains due to Brownian motion in the free molecular flow regime of the solar nebula, is still somewhat speculative. We performed a microgravity experiment flown onboard the space shuttle in which we simulated, for the first time, the onset of free preplanetary dust accumulation and revealed the structures and growth rates of the first dust agglomerates in the young solar system. We find that a thermally aggregating swarm of dust particles evolves very rapidly and forms unexpected open-structured agglomerates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2426-2429
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume85
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

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