It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
With the tally of confirmed planets orbiting other stars now more than 500, planet hunters are heading for a golden age of discovery, said Geoffrey Marcy of the University of California, Berkeley. But that bonanza has been a headache for theoreticians, he said, because many of the newly discovered star systems defy existing models of how planets form.
Current theory holds that planets are made from disks of gas and dust left over after star birth. In our solar system, it's long been thought that the large, gassy planets such as Jupiter and Saturn initially took shape in the far reaches and then migrated inward, as gravitational drag from leftover gas and dust eroded their orbits. The migration process halted when most of the gas and dust had been swept up to make various objects, leaving the planets more or less where we find them today. In theory, other stars with planets should have gotten similar starts. But according to Marcy, theory has implications not born out in reality.