(ORDO NEWS) — How did the planets of the solar system form? The leading theory, known as the “protoplanetary hypothesis”, is that small space objects collided with each other, resulting in their merger.
This is how large planets were formed, including gas giants such as Jupiter. But how, tell me, did this happen ?! Let’s figure it out.
The Birth of the Sun
According to this theory, about 4.6 billion years ago, in the place of today’s solar system, there was nothing but free accumulations of gas and dust. These are the nebulae known to us. One example is the Orion Nebula, which you can see in the night sky.
Then, scientists say, something happened that caused a change in pressure at the center of the cloud. Perhaps the cause was a supernova explosion nearby or a change in the gravity of a passing star. One way or another, according to the NASA agency, the cloud “crumbled”, and a disk formed from matter.
The pressure at the center of the disk increased so much that the hydrogen atoms, which previously moved freely in the cloud, began to contact each other. In the end, this interaction led to their merger and the formation of helium. This is what gave rise to the formation of the Sun.
The sun was like a hungry baby and consumed up to 99% of what was around it. However, there was still 1% matter left. It was here that the process of planet formation began.
At that time, the solar system was, as they say, in disarray. But the planets formed relatively quickly. The gas and fine dust particles began to gather into clumps.
The young Sun pushed most of the gas to the outskirts of the solar system. The heat emanating from it was enough to evaporate any ice that was nearby. Over time, planets have formed: rocky bodies are located closer to the Sun, and gas giants are farther from it.
However, about four billion years ago, as a result of an event that scientists call the “late heavy bombardment”, small bodies hit large objects in the solar system. According to the theory, the Earth was almost destroyed after an object commensurate with Mars crashed into it.
The reasons for such a “bombardment” are still a mystery, however, according to some scientists, this is due to the fact that the gas giants, moving around small bodies on the periphery of the solar system, “disturbed” them. Whatever the cause, in simple terms, the merger of protoplanets eventually led to the formation of planets.
The processes of formation of planets in the solar system cannot be considered completely completed. Between Mars and Jupiter is a belt of asteroids that might have merged into planets if Jupiter’s gravity hadn’t been so strong. In addition, there are many comets and asteroids, which are sometimes called the “building blocks” of our solar system.
What do we have today
One of the biggest problems with this theory is the lack of records of the early history of the solar system.
However, astronomers have found two ways to get around this problem. The first one is simple observation. With powerful telescopes such as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers can observe protoplanetary disks around young planets. We have numerous examples of stars around which planets are born.
The second way is modeling. To test their observations and hypotheses, astronomers create computer models. In this case, testing is carried out several times under different conditions. If all experiments show that the model works, then it is probably true.
Contact us: [email protected]