The Super Earths
01- K-11
02- Migrating Worlds
03- Gliese 581
04- Goldilocks
05- 51 Pegasi
06- Doppler Effect
07- Rhythmic Shift
08- Eccentric Giants
09- Transitters
10- Mu Arae
11- Intermediate World
12- Worlds Observed
13- Extra Solar Earths
14- Migrant Worlds
15- Accretion
16- Core Accretion
17- Disk Erosion
18- Planetary Embryos
19- The Protected Zone
20- Ecosphere
21- Ecosphere II
22- Beta Pictoris
23- Vanquishing Starlight
24- Red Edge / Earth Shine
25- Distant Continents
26- The Age of Stars

16 - Core Accretion

Click here for enlarged diagram


There are many varying interpretations revolving around the accretion model.

In one theory, ‘Core Accretion’, the first planets to emerge from the whirling disk of gas and debris that surrounds a newborn star are gas giants like our Jupiter or Saturn. Most astronomers believe they form by accretion.

Tiny dust grains stick together, forming larger grains that collide to form still larger lumps that eventually yield solid cores about ten times the mass of the Earth.

These cores, with their powerful gravity, suck in gas from the disk to create a giant, gas cloaked planet. This process would take many millions of years.

  Alan Lambert 2011