Special Issue "Planet Formation and the Rise of Life"

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A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Physics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Sarah Maddison (Website)

Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Faculty of ICT, Swinburne University of Technology, H30, PO Box 218, Hawthorn, 3122, Victoria, Australia
Interests: planet formation; grain growth; refractory grains;disk dynamics; disk evolution; debris disks; planetary dynamics; planet-disk interactions; radio interferometry; gas+dust hydrodynamics; N-body simulations; thermodynamics and condensation; molecular clouds; conditions of star formation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

While the building blocks of life appear to be  available in molecular clouds, life almost certainly needs a host planet on which to form and evolve. Understanding the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems is a vital first step in our understanding of life. This special edition invites new works and reviews covering topics related to the formation of the first condensates; the growth of planetesimals and planetary systems in protoplanetary discs; the early chemical and dynamical evolution of our Solar System; and the dynamics and architecture of the exoplanet systems we observe around main-sequence stars today and potential implications to the rise of life.

Dr. Sarah Maddison
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Life is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 600 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • protoplanetary disks
  • planetesimals formation
  • grain growth
  • grain chemistry
  • disk evolution
  • planet-disk interaction
  • debris disks;
  • habitable zone
  • planetary dynamics
  • extrasolar planets

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Disk Evolution, Element Abundances and Cloud Properties of Young Gas Giant Planets
Life 2014, 4(2), 142-173; doi:10.3390/life4020142
Received: 31 October 2013 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 18 March 2014 / Published: 14 April 2014
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (831 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We discuss the chemical pre-conditions for planet formation, in terms of gas and ice abundances in a protoplanetary disk, as function of time and position, and the resulting chemical composition and cloud properties in the atmosphere when young gas giant planets form, [...] Read more.
We discuss the chemical pre-conditions for planet formation, in terms of gas and ice abundances in a protoplanetary disk, as function of time and position, and the resulting chemical composition and cloud properties in the atmosphere when young gas giant planets form, in particular discussing the effects of unusual, non-solar carbon and oxygen abundances. Large deviations between the abundances of the host star and its gas giants seem likely to occur if the planet formation follows the core-accretion scenario. These deviations stem from the separate evolution of gas and dust in the disk, where the dust forms the planet cores, followed by the final run-away accretion of the left-over gas. This gas will contain only traces of elements like C, N and O, because those elements have frozen out as ices. PRODIMO protoplanetary disk models are used to predict the chemical evolution of gas and ice in the midplane. We find that cosmic rays play a crucial role in slowly un-blocking the CO, where the liberated oxygen forms water, which then freezes out quickly. Therefore, the C/O ratio in the gas phase is found to gradually increase with time, in a region bracketed by the water and CO ice-lines. In this regions, C/O is found to approach unity after about 5 Myrs, scaling with the cosmic ray ionization rate assumed. We then explore how the atmospheric chemistry and cloud properties in young gas giants are affected when the non-solar C/O ratios predicted by the disk models are assumed. The DRIFT cloud formation model is applied to study the formation of atmospheric clouds under the influence of varying premordial element abundances and its feedback onto the local gas. We demonstrate that element depletion by cloud formation plays a crucial role in converting an oxygen-rich atmosphere gas into carbon-rich gas when non-solar, premordial element abundances are considered as suggested by disk models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planet Formation and the Rise of Life)
Open AccessArticle The Formation of Jupiter, the Jovian Early Bombardment and the Delivery of Water to the Asteroid Belt: The Case of (4) Vesta
Life 2014, 4(1), 4-34; doi:10.3390/life4010004
Received: 1 November 2013 / Revised: 26 December 2013 / Accepted: 16 January 2014 / Published: 28 January 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (11412 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The asteroid (4) Vesta, parent body of the Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite meteorites, is one of the first bodies that formed, mostly from volatile-depleted material, in the Solar System. The Dawn mission recently provided evidence that hydrated material was delivered to Vesta, possibly in a [...] Read more.
The asteroid (4) Vesta, parent body of the Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite meteorites, is one of the first bodies that formed, mostly from volatile-depleted material, in the Solar System. The Dawn mission recently provided evidence that hydrated material was delivered to Vesta, possibly in a continuous way, over the last 4 Ga, while the study of the eucritic meteorites revealed a few samples that crystallized in presence of water and volatile elements. The formation of Jupiter and probably its migration occurred in the period when eucrites crystallized, and triggered a phase of bombardment that caused icy planetesimals to cross the asteroid belt. In this work, we study the flux of icy planetesimals on Vesta during the Jovian Early Bombardment and, using hydrodynamic simulations, the outcome of their collisions with the asteroid. We explore how the migration of the giant planet would affect the delivery of water and volatile materials to the asteroid and we discuss our results in the context of the geophysical and collisional evolution of Vesta. In particular, we argue that the observational data are best reproduced if the bulk of the impactors was represented by 1–2 km wide planetesimals and if Jupiter underwent a limited (a fraction of au) displacement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planet Formation and the Rise of Life)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Stability toward High Energy Radiation of Non-Proteinogenic Amino Acids: Implications for the Origins of Life
Life 2013, 3(3), 449-473; doi:10.3390/life3030449
Received: 8 May 2013 / Revised: 15 May 2013 / Accepted: 10 July 2013 / Published: 30 July 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (671 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A series of non-proteinogenic amino acids, most of them found quite commonly in the meteorites known as carbonaceous chondrites, were subjected to solid state radiolysis in vacuum to a total radiation dose of 3.2 MGy corresponding to 23% of the total dose [...] Read more.
A series of non-proteinogenic amino acids, most of them found quite commonly in the meteorites known as carbonaceous chondrites, were subjected to solid state radiolysis in vacuum to a total radiation dose of 3.2 MGy corresponding to 23% of the total dose expected to be taken by organic molecules buried in asteroids and meteorites since the beginning of the solar system 4.6 × 109 years ago. The radiolyzed amino acids were studied by FT-IR spectroscopy, Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and by polarimety and Optical Rotatory Dispersion (ORD). It is shown that an important fraction of each amino acid is able to “survive” the massive dose of radiation, while the enantiomeric excess is partially preserved. Based on the results obtained, it is concluded that it is unsurprising to find amino acids even in enantiomeric excess in carbonaceous chondrites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planet Formation and the Rise of Life)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Setting the Stage for Habitable Planets
Life 2014, 4(1), 35-65; doi:10.3390/life4010035
Received: 25 October 2013 / Revised: 10 February 2014 / Accepted: 17 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
PDF Full-text (383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Our understanding of the processes that are relevant to the formation and maintenance of habitable planetary systems is advancing at a rapid pace, both from observation and theory. The present review focuses on recent research that bears on this topic and includes [...] Read more.
Our understanding of the processes that are relevant to the formation and maintenance of habitable planetary systems is advancing at a rapid pace, both from observation and theory. The present review focuses on recent research that bears on this topic and includes discussions of processes occurring in astrophysical, geophysical and climatic contexts, as well as the temporal evolution of planetary habitability. Special attention is given to recent observations of exoplanets and their host stars and the theories proposed to explain the observed trends. Recent theories about the early evolution of the Solar System and how they relate to its habitability are also summarized. Unresolved issues requiring additional research are pointed out, and a framework is provided for estimating the number of habitable planets in the Universe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planet Formation and the Rise of Life)

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