Formation of Giant Planets

  title={Formation of Giant Planets},
  author={David J. Stevenson},
  journal={arXiv: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics},
  • D. Stevenson
  • Published 1 August 1982
  • Geology, Physics
  • arXiv: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
This is a descriptive and non-mathematical summary of giant planet formation theories. There are two end-member models, core accretion and disk instability. In the core accretion model, several to ten Earth masses of solid (ice and rock) accumulate and this promotes subsequent gas accretion. In the disk instability model, a self-gravitating sphere of gas forms (somewhat analogous to star formation) and a core may arise through condensation and rainout from its low density envelope. The core… 

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