I am transitioning my website to a different platform. Not all of the links below currently work, but I hope to have this fixed soon.
Credit: NCSA/NASA/A. Boley (Univ. of Florida)
What happens when planets and their building blocks are scattered in a gaseous disk? Large shocks will form that are capable of processing dust at very high temperatures. Some of this material can be incorporated into meteorites, creating a record of the dynamical history of the solar system's formation. This link shows a the top half of a cross section from a 3D hydrodynamics simulation. The movie shows gas density (color bar) and dust (blue dots) as it encounters a planetoid (between the size of an asteroid and a planet) at a speed of 7 km/s! The planetoid has a primitive atmosphere that is being stripped by interactions with the wind. The particles (dust) in this simulation record the temperature, density, and pressure histories as they are diverted around the planetoid's atmosphere, allowing us to make comparisons to lab results of processed materials in meteorites. The calculations in this movie were run by research team member C. Mann.
Fomalhaut (Based on Boley et al. 2012)
An outreach simulation of the Fomalhaut debris disk. The simulation shows two planets carving away a ring of material. Color represents dust temperature for large grains, with blue = colder and red = hotter.
Life: A Cosmic Story and JWST
A resimulation of one of the disks in Boley (2009) was made for public outreach. The data were rendered by the Advanced Visualization Laboratory, and the finished products can be seen in the trailer for Life: A Story as well as at the JWST science visualization page.
From Boley & Durisen (2010) and Boley, Helled, & Payne (2011)
A simulation of an extremely unstable disk with 10 cm particles. The gas is shown by the colorscale (surface density in cgs), while solids are shown with black dots. In very extended disks, such as the one shown here, 10 cm particles are concentrated in spiral arms efficiently. After the spiral arms fragment, the solids quickly differentiate. The portion of the simulation shown begins just when non-axisymmetric structure becomes very prominent.
A resimulation of the disk shown in SIMD (below), but with 1 km-size particles. Unlike the simulation shown above, the particles do not collect in spiral arms. Non-axisymmetric stru Cosmic cture in the solids can even be slightly offset from the gas. Fragmentation still occurs in this simulation, but it is not as violent as in the simulation above.
From Boley (2009)
These movies are available as animated gif files. They show the formation of a disk due to accretion from an envisaged envelope. The simulations vary in stellar mass, accretion rate, and/or accretion profile. As mass piles up, each disk becomes unstable, and some fragment. Data are missing for the movie labled SIMA, but this is a rendering issue only. Please see Boley (2009) for details.