Using Jupiter’s Volatile Inventory to Trace the History Of Ices During Planet Formation

Monday, 15 December 2014: 8:30 AM
Fred Ciesla, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States
The Galileo probe’s measurement of a uniform enrichment of Jupiter’s atmosphere in volatiles, including noble gases, relative to a gas of solar composition has proven to be a challenge to models of planet formation. This uniform enrichment requires that Jupiter accreted planetesimals with solar ratios in all elements, except for hydrogen and helium. Given the very low temperatures needed to achieve such compositions if all elements behaved chemically as pure substances, efforts have focused on understanding how extremely volatile elements could be physically incorporated into ices and organics at low temperatures. Two primary methods for incorporation of these volatiles have emerged: formation of clathrate hydrates and trapping of gases during the formation of amorphous ice. These modes for incorporating volatiles make different predictions about the amount of water that would be contained within Jupiter, an issue that will be addressed by the Juno Mission.

Either mode for incorporating volatiles will reveal details about the dynamical behavior of ices during planet formation and the environments in which planetary materials were formed. For example, Ciesla (2014) showed that amorphous ice formation, and thus trapping of volatiles in this manner, can occur as water molecules are photodesorbed and freeze-out again on grain surfaces, thus requiring high UV flux environments at the birth of the solar system or significant vertical lofting of grains in the disk by turbulence. I will review the conditions that are required for amorphous trapping and clathrate hydrate formation to have occurred in the solar nebula and discuss the implications for the compositions of the other giant planets and cometary bodies, as well as the relation of these materials to the sources of volatiles on terrestrial planets.