Astrophysics (index)

Isolation Mass

(mass of an oligarch after accreting all nearby planetesimals)

Isolation Mass is the mass of a planet-to-be created by Accretion of Planetesimals (objects with a diameter on the order of 1km) by the largest planetesimals (Oligarches). Current models set it at roughly lunar mass.

This is a step in the Nebular Hypothesis of Planet Formation, where planetesimals (1km diameter) form by some means, the largest (oligarchs) accrete the rest, then the oligarchs' orbits interfere and become unstable, the oligarchs collide and merge into Rocky Planets such as Mars or Earth.

(planet formation,mass)