Atmospheric mass deposition by captured planetesimals

Eyal Iaroslavitz, Morris Podolak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine the deposition of heavy elements in the envelope of a protoplanet growing according to the core accretion scenario of Pollack et al. [Pollack, J.B., Hubickyj, O., Bodenheimer, P., Lissauer, J.J., Podolak, M., Greenzweig, Y., 1996. Icarus 124, 62-85]. We use their atmospheric models and the deposition rates that they computed, and we calculate the amount of heavy elements that can be dissolved in the envelope. For planetesimals composed of a mixture of water, CHON, and rock, we find that almost all of the water is dissolved in the atmosphere. A substantial amount of CHON is also dissolved but it remains sequestered at high temperatures near the core. Some fraction of the rock is also dissolved in the very high temperature region near the core envelope boundary. If this dissolved material can be mixed upward later in the planet's evolution, the resulting structure would be much closer to that determined by matching the moments of Jupiter's gravitational field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-610
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Accretion
  • Jupiter
  • Planetary formation


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