35th Meeting of the AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy, April 2004
Session 2 Disks
Oral, Wednesday, April 21, 2004, 9:30am-12:45pm,

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[2.05] Gravitational Instability and Clustering in a Disk of Planetesimals

P. Tanga (Laboratoire Cassiopee, OCA, France), S. Weidenschilling (Planetary Science Institute), A. Michel (Laboratoire Cassiopee, OCA, France), D. Richardson (U. Maryland)

The real importance of the gravitational instability in the dust disk of the early Solar System is still debated. Several mechanisms could yield a strongly inhomogeneus distribution of solids: radial drift, trapping in vortices, perturbations by massive bodies, etc. Some of them could be relevant in the formation of planets around the Sun or other stars. Here we present a numerical study of a gravitationally unstable layer. Numerical limitations impose the use of large bodies, resulting in a strong gravitational stirring. However, a simple method allows us to control the growth of velocity dispersions and to explore the highly non-linear evolution of the instably layer. A hierarchical growth of structures in presence of gas drag can yield large clusters of planetesimals, inside which particle growth take place.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #2
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.