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Anders Johansen. Profile picture.

Anders Johansen


Anders Johansen. Profile picture.

Planetesimal Formation by the Streaming Instability in a Photoevaporating Disk


  • Daniel Carrera
  • Uma Gorti
  • Anders Johansen
  • Melvyn B. Davies

Summary, in English

Recent years have seen growing interest in the streaming instability as a candidate mechanism to produce planetesimals. However, these investigations have been limited to small-scale simulations. We now present the results of a global protoplanetary disk evolution model that incorporates planetesimal formation by the streaming instability, along with viscous accretion, photoevaporation by EUV, FUV, and X-ray photons, dust evolution, the water ice line, and stratified turbulence. Our simulations produce massive (60-130 M ) planetesimal belts beyond 100 au and up to ∼20 M of planetesimals in the middle regions (3-100 au). Our most comprehensive model forms 8 M of planetesimals inside 3 au, where they can give rise to terrestrial planets. The planetesimal mass formed in the inner disk depends critically on the timing of the formation of an inner cavity in the disk by high-energy photons. Our results show that the combination of photoevaporation and the streaming instability are efficient at converting the solid component of protoplanetary disks into planetesimals. Our model, however, does not form enough early planetesimals in the inner and middle regions of the disk to give rise to giant planets and super-Earths with gaseous envelopes. Additional processes such as particle pileups and mass loss driven by MHD winds may be needed to drive the formation of early planetesimal generations in the planet-forming regions of protoplanetary disks.


  • Lund Observatory
  • eSSENCE: The e-Science Collaboration

Publishing year





Astrophysical Journal





Document type

Journal article


American Astronomical Society


  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


  • accretion, accretion disks
  • planets and satellites: formation
  • planets and satellites: terrestrial planets
  • protoplanetary disks




  • ISSN: 0004-637X