Formation of the regular satellites of giant planets in an extended gaseous nebula I: subnebula model and accretion of satellites
We model the subnebulae of Jupiter and Saturn wherein satellite accretion took place. We expect each giant planet subnebula to be composed of an optically thick (given gaseous opacity) inner region inside of the planet's centrifugal radius (where the specific angular momentum of the collapsing giant planet gaseous envelope achieves centrifugal balance, located at rCJ ∼ 15 RJ for Jupiter and rCS ∼ 22 RS for Saturn) and an optically thin, extended outer disk out to a fraction of the planet's Roche-lobe ( R H), which we choose to be ∼ R H/5 (located at ∼150 RJ near the inner irregular satellites for Jupiter, and ∼200 RS near Phoebe for Saturn). This places Titan and Ganymede in the inner disk, Callisto and Iapetus in the outer disk, and Hyperion in the transition region. The inner disk is the leftover of the gas accreted by the protoplanet. The outer disk may result from the nebula gas flowing into the protoplanet during the time of giant planet gap-opening (or cessation of gas accretion). For the sake of specificity, we use a solar composition "minimum mass" model to constrain the gas densities of the inner and outer disks of Jupiter and Saturn (and also Uranus). Our model has Ganymede at a subnebula temperature of ∼250 K and Titan at ∼100 K. The outer disks of Jupiter and Saturn have constant temperatures of 130 and 90 K, respectively. Our model has Callisto forming in a time scale ∼10 6 years, Iapetus in 10 6-10 7 years, Ganymede in 10 3-10 4 years, and Titan in 10 4-10 5 years. Callisto takes much longer to form than Ganymede because it draws materials from the extended, low density portion of the disk; its accretion time scale is set by the inward drift times of satellitesimals with sizes 300-500 km from distances ∼100 RJ. This accretion history may be consistent with a partially differentiated Callisto with a ∼300-km clean ice outer shell overlying a mixed ice and rock-metal interior as suggested by Anderson et al. (2001), which may explain the Ganymede-Callisto dichotomy without resorting to fine-tuning poorly known model parameters. It is also possible that particulate matter coupled to the high specific angular momentum gas flowing through the gap after giant planet gap-opening, capture of heliocentric planetesimals by the extended gas disk, or ablation of planetesimals passing through the disk contributes to the solid content of the disk and lengthens the time scale for Callisto's formation. Furthermore, this model has Hyperion forming just outside Saturn's centrifugal radius, captured into resonance by proto-Titan in the presence of a strong gas density gradient as proposed by Lee and Peale (2000). While Titan may have taken significantly longer to form than Ganymede, it still formed fast enough that we would expect it to be fully differentiated. In this sense, it is more like Ganymede than like Callisto (Saturn's analog of Callisto, we expect, is Iapetus). An alternative starved disk model whose satellite accretion time scale for all the regular satellites is set by the feeding of planetesimals or gas from the planet's Roche-lobe after gap-opening is likely to imply a long accretion time scale for Titan with small quantities of NH 3 present, leading to a partially differentiated (Callisto-like) Titan. The Cassini mission may resolve this issue conclusively. We briefly discuss the retention of elements more volatile than H 2O as well as other issues that may help to test our model.