Research: a disk of gas around planets saves the moon from absorption

Researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan found that a gas disk around the planets saves their satellites from absorption. For this discovery, scientists simulated a model for the emergence of systems with large celestial bodies.

Mathematical modeling showed that the gas disk around a young giant planet can play a decisive role in the development of a system in which one large moon is dominant. Scientists have discovered that dust in the disk can create a “safety zone” that keeps the planet from absorbing the moon.

Astronomers believe that many of the satellites that we observe in the solar system are formed together with the mother planet. In this scenario, they are formed from gas and dust revolving around an still-forming planet. But as a result of simulations, all large celestial bodies fell on the planet and were absorbed. As the researchers found out, in reality this is prevented by dust in the planet’s disks, which creates a kind of “security zone”.

Yuri Fuji, associate professor at Nagoya University, and Masahiro Ogihara, associate professor at the Japan National Astronomical Observatory (NAOJ) project, created a circulatory disk model with a more realistic temperature distribution based on a variety of cloud sources, including dust and ice. Then they modeled the orbital migration of the moons, taking into account the pressure of disk gas and the gravity of other satellites.

“We first demonstrated how a system forms a system with one big moon around a giant planet”, says Fuji.

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