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The dynamical evolution of the protosolar nebula
Ruden, Steven P.; Pollack, James B.
AA(California, University, Irvine), AB(NASA, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 375, July 10, 1991, p. 740-760. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Protostars, Solar Corona, Solar System Evolution, Star Formation, Angular Momentum, Gas Dynamics, Planetary Evolution
Bibliographic Code:


Evolutionary models for protostellar nebulae are calculated under the hypothesis that the only source for the turbulent viscosity is thermal convection. The viscous stress is approximated by an 'alpha' model, and the constant alpha is calculated in terms of the properties of turbulent thermal convection. A relatively sensitive dependence of the Rosseland mean opacity on temperature is needed for the vertical temperature gradient of the nebula to become convectively unstable. However, this requires that the vertical optical depth in the nebula is relatively sensitive to the total surface density, and as the disk is depleted of matter by protostellar accretion, the Rosseland mean optical depth drops and the disk must become convectively unstable. This limits the amount of mass that the nebula can accretionally process before the convective turbulence ceases. The resulting disk evolutionary properties are calculated and comparisons with the solar system are made.

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