Shibaike et al., ApJ (2019)

Yuhito Shibaike, Chris W. Ormel, Shigeru Ida, Satoshi Okuzumi & Takanori Sasaki, The Galilean Satellites Formed Slowly from Pebbles, The Astrophysical Journal885, 79(19pp) (2019)


It is generally accepted that the four major (Galilean) satellites formed out of the gas disk that accompanied Jupiter’s formation. However, understanding the specifics of the formation process is challenging, as both small particles (pebbles) and the satellites are subject to fast migration processes. Here we hypothesize a new scenario for the origin of the Galilean system, based on the capture of several planetesimal seeds and subsequent slow accretion of pebbles. To halt migration, we invoke an inner disk truncation radius, and other parameters are tuned for the model to match physical, dynamical, compositional, and structural constraints. In our scenario it is natural that Ganymede’s mass is determined by pebble isolation. Our slow pebble accretion scenario then reproduces the following characteristics: (1) the mass of all the Galilean satellites; (2) the orbits of Io, Europa, and Ganymede captured in mutual 2:1 mean motion resonances; (3) the ice mass fractions of all the Galilean satellites; and (4) the unique ice-rock partially differentiated Callisto and the complete differentiation of the other satellites. Our scenario is unique to simultaneously reproduce these disparate properties.

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