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Anders Johansen. Profile picture.

Anders Johansen


Anders Johansen. Profile picture.

Radially resolved simulations of collapsing pebble clouds in protoplanetary discs


  • Karl Wahlberg Jansson
  • Anders Johansen

Summary, in English

In the Solar System, asteroids and Kuiper belt objects as well as comets are remnant planetesimals from the time of planet formation. Interactions between solids and gas inside a protoplanetary disc can, e.g. through the streaming instability, form gravitationally bound planetesimal-mass clouds of pebbles. Such clouds will inevitably have inelastic collisions between pebbles, lose energy and experience a runaway collapse into planetesimals. We study the collapse process with a statistical model to find the internal structure of comet-sized planetesimals. In this paper we develop a numerical model that keep track of at what depth particles inside the pebble cloud are to get the radial structure of the resulting planetesimal. We find that the interiors of a planetesimal is heavily dependent on initial pebble sizes and depth inside the planetesimal. We also look at what effect disc gas has on the collapse by adding gas drag onto particles. This both speeds up the collapse and cause lower collision speeds which results in primordial pebbles surviving the collapse. The dependence on particle sizes result in planetesimals with an interior of “onion”-like shells. Our results are in agreement with Rosetta observations of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko being a porous, homogeneous pebble-pile.


  • Lund Observatory - Has been reorganised
  • Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics - Has been reorganised

Publishing year





Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society



Document type

Journal article


Oxford University Press


  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


  • methods: analytical
  • methods: numerical
  • minor planets
  • asteroids: general
  • planets and satellites: formation
  • comets: general




  • ISSN: 1365-2966