37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 29 Planet and Satellite Formation
Poster, Tuesday, September 6, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Foyer

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[29.16] Gas Giant Formation in Dense Star Clusters

H. B. Throop (SwRI), J. Bally (U. Colorado)

We here propose a new scenario for the formation of giant planets. This scenario could occur in planetary systems born in a dense star cluster (e.g., OB association), where is it believed that up to 90% of star formation occurs. Our scenario has three phases. First, a rocky core forms in < 1 Myr. Second, the disk's gas is lost due to photo-evaporation from a recently-started young O or B star. Third, as the low-mass star orbits the cluster, its disk accretes gas from the ISM, via Bondi-Hoyle accretion, sufficient to form the planet's gas envelope. A typical star-disk system could accrete approximately 0.1 solar masses of material in 1 Myr. We will present a model of this formation mechanism and discuss its consequences.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.