Gas giant planets play a fundamental role in shaping the orbital architecture of planetary systems and in affecting the delivery of volatile materials to terrestrial planets in the habitable zones. Current theories of gas giant planet formation rely on either of two mechanisms: the core accretion model and the disk instability model. In this chapter, we describe the essential principles upon which these models are built and discuss the successes and limitations of each model in explaining observational data of giant planets orbiting the Sun and other stars.
- Pub Date:
- December 2010
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Physics - Geophysics;
- Physics - Space Physics
- In EXOPLANETS, edited by S. Seager, to be published in the Fall of 2010 in the Space Science Series of the University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ) (refereed