Inside-out Planet Formation. IV. Pebble Evolution and Planet Formation Timescales

Xiao Hu, Jonathan C. Tan, Zhaohuan Zhu, Sourav Chatterjee, Tilman Birnstiel, Andrew N. Youdin, Subhanjoy Mohanty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Systems with tightly packed inner planets (STIPs) are very common. Chatterjee & Tan proposed Inside-out Planet Formation (IOPF), an in situ formation theory, to explain these planets. IOPF involves sequential planet formation from pebble-rich rings that are fed from the outer disk and trapped at the pressure maximum associated with the dead zone inner boundary (DZIB). Planet masses are set by their ability to open a gap and cause the DZIB to retreat outwards. We present models for the disk density and temperature structures that are relevant to the conditions of IOPF. For a wide range of DZIB conditions, we evaluate the gap-opening masses of planets in these disks that are expected to lead to the truncation of pebble accretion onto the forming planet. We then consider the evolution of dust and pebbles in the disk, estimating that pebbles typically grow to sizes of a few centimeters during their radial drift from several tens of astronomical units to the inner, ≲1 au scale disk. A large fraction of the accretion flux of solids is expected to be in such pebbles. This allows us to estimate the timescales for individual planet formation and the entire planetary system formation in the IOPF scenario. We find that to produce realistic STIPs within reasonable timescales similar to disk lifetimes requires disk accretion rates of ∼10-9 M o yr-1 and relatively low viscosity conditions in the DZIB region, i.e., a Shakura-Sunyaev parameter of α ∼ 10-4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 10 2018


  • accretion, accretion disks
  • planet-disk interactions
  • planetary systems
  • planets and satellites: formation
  • protoplanetary disks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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