Iddo Genuth writes "Research conducted by a team of North American scientists shows our solar system is special, contrary to the accepted theory that it is an average planetary system. Using computer simulations to follow the development of planets, it was shown that very specific conditions are needed for a proto-stellar disk to evolve into a solar system-like planetary system. The simulations show that in most cases either no planets are created, or planets are formed and then migrate towards the disk center and acquire highly elliptical orbits." The research was published in Science magazine; here's the paper on ArXiv (PDF).
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