Composition of massive giant planets

Ravit Helled, Peter Bodenheimer, Jack J. Lissauer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The two current models for giant planet formation are core accretion and disk instability. We discuss the core masses and overall planetary enrichment in heavy elements predicted by the two formation models, and show that both models could lead to a large range of final compositions. For example, both can form giant planets with nearly stellar compositions. However, low-mass giant planets, enriched in heavy elements compared to their host stars, are more easily explained by the core accretion model. The final structure of the planets, i.e., the distribution of heavy elements, is not firmly constrained in either formation model.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Astrophysics of Planetary Systems
Subtitle of host publicationFormation, Structure, and Dynamical Evolution
EditorsAlessandro Sozzetti, Mario Lattanzi, Alan Boss
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)1743-9213
ISSN (Electronic)1743-9221


  • Formation
  • Planetary systems
  • Planets and satellites


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