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If enough time has passed for gravitational forces to allow the formation of planetesimals(proto-planets) in orbit around the proto-star, how likely is it that two of them would collide with one another? If they do collide, would a head-on collision be more likely than a glancing collision?

What would be the observable effect of such a phenomena?

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  • $\begingroup$ How do you understand that “gravitational forces” are responsible for the formation of planetesimals? It sounds ambiguous because both star–planetesimal and planetesimal–planetesimal forces can be assumed in that statement. $\endgroup$ – Incnis Mrsi Dec 22 '20 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ I apologize if the question wasn't clear enough. Since the assumption states that enough time has passed for a proto-sun to be formed, I would suppose both the forces (star-planetesimal and planetesimal-planetesimal) would act. In that case, what are the chances that two proto-planets in orbit would collide? Head-on or otherwise? $\endgroup$ – Ammanuel Jul 23 at 6:55
  • $\begingroup$ The “head-on” label makes no quantitative sense without specific threshold. An ideal head-on collision has probability 0. Every practical collision brings or takes some angular momentum for the bodies involved. $\endgroup$ – Incnis Mrsi Jul 25 at 5:08

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