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Saving the Earth with dynamical simulations

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posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 08:49 AM

A new model keeps the solar system safe for the young Earth and other infant planets by preventing them from spiraling into the sun.

When astronomers simulate the formation of the solar system, disaster strikes: no planets survive. Under most models’ assumptions, protoplanets would have collided with the parent star before they had a chance to fully form.

“This contradicts basic observational evidence: the fact that we are here,” said Mordecai-Mark Mac Low of the American Museum of Natural History at a press briefing January 7 at the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

The model astronomers were using was wrong, because it indicated there was a lack of understanding the core fundamentals of planet creation. Each time they plugged in their data into a model of the early universe, planets were gobbled up by their suns in around One million years, which isnt very long as far as the universe is concerned.

However, once they realized they needed to use localized temperature as a variable, the models became far closer to what we actually observe today; Hot and cold zones around the sun help keep planetoids at a semi fixed position.



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