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The European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU)

Holistic planet formation in the Solar System

Awarded Resources (in node hours)
Meluxina GPU
System Partition
4 March 2024 - 3 March 2025
Allocation Period

A recent model of terrestrial planet formation relies on a gas pressure maximum ring near Venus’ orbit that results in convergent migration of planetary embryos.

The model has only been tested with material between 0.5 and 1.5 au from the Sun, which is dynamically promising, but fails to account for the isotopically distinct composition between Earth and Mars, and ignores the evolution of the asteroid belt.

Models assume that Jupiter and Saturn had their current masses, yet these planets took 1-3 Myr to fully form. During their growth they slingshot material from the outer solar system to the inner solar system. Outer solar system material is isotopically distinct from inner solar system material, changing the composition of the inner solar system.

The giant planets also underwent a late dynamical instability, which stirred up bodies in the asteroid belt and inner solar system. Here the project uses high-resolution N-body simulations of terrestrial planet formation with a ringed disc followed by the effects of giant planet migration. The main scientific and sociological advance is greater insight into the dynamical history of the early solar system. The main technical advance is progress in parallelisation algorithms specific to planet formation and planetary dynamics.