The effects of disk building on the distributions of refractory materials in the solar nebula


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Abstract– Refractory materials, such as calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) and crystalline silicates, are widely found in chondritic meteorites as well as comets, taken as evidence for large-scale mixing in the solar nebula. Most models for mixing in the solar nebula begin with a well-formed protoplanetary disk. Here, we relax this assumption by modeling the formation and evolution of the solar nebula during and after the period when it accreted material from its parent molecular cloud. We consider how disk building impacts the long-term evolution of the disk and the implications for grain transport and mixing within it. Our model shows that materials that formed before infall was complete could be preserved in primitive bodies, especially those that accreted in the outer disk. This potentially explains the discovery of refractory objects with low initial 26Al/27Al ratios in comets. Our model also shows that the highest fraction of refractory materials in meteorites formed around the time that infall stopped. Thus, we suggest that the calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions in chondrites would be dominated by the population that formed during the transition from class I to class II stage of young stellar objects. This helps us to understand the meaning of t = 0 in solar system chronology. Moreover, our model offers a possible explanation for the existence of isotopic variations observed among refractory materials—that the anomalous materials formed before the collapse of the parent molecular cloud was complete.