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Space Science

Leading Theory of Solar System's Formation Just Disproven (forbes.com) 143

StartsWithABang writes: In 2005, scientists put forth the Nice Model to explain the configuration of the Solar System's planets. It was thought that the outer planets, Jupiter in particular, migrated through the inner Solar System, and were then pulled back out by the presence of the outer giants, causing the late heavy bombardment of the terrestrial planets as it crossed the asteroid belt. But not only are extra gas giants that have since been ejected required to explain the outer worlds, but the migration would have ejected the inner, terrestrial worlds, indicating that the rocky planets finished forming after the gas giants were already in place. R.I.P., Nice Model: 2005-2015.
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Leading Theory of Solar System's Formation Just Disproven

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  • frisyt (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @08:44AM (#50862241) Homepage Journal

    No doubt the actual article says something completely different, but I can't be arsed to read it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @08:57AM (#50862281)

      No doubt the actual article says something completely different, but I can't be arsed to read it.

      No, the actual article also just says "frisyt". Surprised me too.

    • Surprisingly enough, the summary is a bit misleading.

      tldr: It appears the 2005 explanation for the formation of our little solar system isn't completely dead;

      it merely requires an additional gas giant or some other tweaking to explain the existence of the four inner rocky worlds, including earth.

      It's still fascinating how advanced we are as a life form to begin to question the origin of everything.

      • It's still fascinating how advanced we are as a life form to begin to question the origin of everything.

        Come now, we've been questioning the origin of everything since we could talk. What do you think "religion" is all about?

        • Well, strictly speaking religion is a bit more about where we go to then where we came from ;D

          • More to the point, it's about pretending that we don't really have to die because people can't cope with how temporary our existence is, but it usually also comes with an origin story.
            • by KGIII ( 973947 )

              I'm a Buddhist, not a very good Buddhist, but one regardless. I'm going to die. I'm okay with that. Someday? My atoms will be the material that makes up a star. That is my reincarnation.

              • Your molecules were once in a star, but they most likely won't ever be part of a star again since the sun isn't massive enough for a supernova.

        • Religion is a set of fantasy-based, absurd fake explanations. Sticking with fake explanations that give you the warm fuzzies is the opposite of questioning origins.
        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          Who's to say the ants have not already figured out the origins of the universe? They just lack opposable thumbs and don't care to tell us. Mayhap they've already tried to tell us or they keep it to themselves as a collective knowledge store amongst their individual groups?

          Or, I could just be a little high.

      • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

        It's still fascinating how advanced we are as a life form to begin to question the origin of everything.

        I'd love to agree on how amazing our advancement is but our inability to deal with real existential threats is anything but advanced.

        • We are so close, simultaneously, to unilateral destruction and universal expansion... not out of the Great Filter yet!
          • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
            Indeed ;) I've seen that a lot of people hope we don't find life elsewhere in the solar system because of the great filter. If we find it, it implies that the filter is in our future and we're therefore fucked.
      • by jrumney ( 197329 )

        it merely requires an additional gas giant or some other tweaking to explain the existence of the four inner rocky worlds, including earth.

        Or perhaps another passing star?

        • Yes, many possibilities.

          IMHO, the work done in 2005 is unlikely 100% accurate or 100% inaccurate.

          It did too well in some of the developmental models of the Solar System's formation to be completely discounted.

    • by delt0r ( 999393 )
      You will do well here.
  • So a model gets discarded because it won't work. Nothing to see here.

    The proposition of a new model will make a better slashdot article.

    • Of course there's something to see here. If you never hear that this model has been disproven then people can go on to throw it out as plausible later.

      A theory being disproven - particularly one that was highly regarded - is very much newsworthy.

    • "So a model gets discarded because it won't work. Nothing to see here."

      Fortunately, this model is in a discipline which has not gone political. We can make changes to it without holding any Maoist show trials where researchers get called "deniers."

      • Re:And? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @11:05AM (#50863105)

        "So a model gets discarded because it won't work. Nothing to see here."

        Fortunately, this model is in a discipline which has not gone political. We can make changes to it without holding any Maoist show trials where researchers get called "deniers."

        I don't know about that. The status of Pluto seems/ed to be pretty political.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Of course you'd say that, Pluto Denier!

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The status of Pluto seems/ed to be pretty political.

          It is political, but it isn't really science. The status of Pluto amounts to classification for jargon purposes, and has no impact on the science of what Pluto is and its significance. It just amounts to what wording scientists need to use when discussing groups of solar system things in science literature. Not all classification schemes in science have the same significance in meaning, and many come down to just convenience.

        • I don't know about that. The status of Pluto seems/ed to be pretty political.

          Part of the problem is that star scientists voted to reclassify Pluto without involving planet scientists in the decision. Why the world should listen to them however, I have never understood.

        • There is a "thumbnail" (not a formal paper, but a good undergraduate level explanation) of the Pluto decision by one of TFA's authors (Hal Levison). I have always preferred the materials science POV for defining "planet" (i.e., it has self-gravitated to a rough sphere) over the IAU's complex criteria, but after reading Levison's "thumbnail" I am much less opposed to the IAU definition than I was 6 months ago. (For context, I've been interested in Planetary Science since the mid-80s, which includes this ques
      • Researchers are rarely called "deniers". That particular epithet applies to those who disregard the science because it makes them emotionally uncomfortable or might cut into their profits or something.

        • Yeah, I suspect you're replying to a global warming denier. He seems to have a paranoid perspective that sees delusional people as just having a different belief.
      • Where are there Maoist show trials where researchers are called deniers? Is this what the insane global warming deniers now pretend is the case? The Conservative cult is highly motivated to never engage with reality, all for the profits of those who so easily manipulate Conservative superstitions. Their whole house of delusions would crumble if they engaged any critical thinking skills instead of immersing themselves in conspiracy theories.
  • by denzacar ( 181829 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @08:57AM (#50862285) Journal

    Can someone sum it up in a more tabloid-click-bait-like form for me?

    "You won't believe how Solar system ACTUALLY formed..." or some such thing.

  • The "cosmic pinball" of the larger planets ejecting other planets from the solar system is fascinating. If such ejections are common in different star systems, it might explain the startling number of planets and planetoids that are _not_ in orbits around stars being discovered as orbital telescopes improve. Most of these planets were too cool, and too small, to be detected until quite recently, The advent of infrared telescopes, and of extremely stable orbital telescopes to detect very small, non-luminesce

    • The mass of everything else in the solar system doesn't approach the mass of the sun. Interstellar planets could never have enough mass to account for dark matter, which is supposed to be 73% of the universe by mass.

    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      I've suggested that if they're common, they might explain the "dark matter" problem of cosmology:namely, a reservoir of matter around galaxies that is impossible to detect by normal means, but doesn't require any exotic, unverified forms of matter to explain.

      Sorry, dark matter explains three observations: galactic rotation rates, the balance of matter in the early universe (as observed in the CMBR), and gravitational lensing where there is no visible matter. And it explains the first two of those in a way that matches quantitatively.

      We know (as much as we know anything in science) that most of the matter in the early universe was not made from electrons and protons, sorry. Whatever its nature may be, most of the matter in the universe doesn't interact with li

    • I've suggested that if they're common, they might explain the "dark matter" problem of cosmology:namely, a reservoir of matter around galaxies that is impossible to detect by normal means, but doesn't require any exotic, unverified forms of matter to explain.

      This was a viable proposition in the late 1970s - as the "missing mass problem was going from "are our measurements correct" to "our measurements and our theories don't add up" - resulting in several surveys looking for evidence of cold, lumpy matter. I

      • > MACHO didn't find anything like enough matter

        I must admit that I'm also not thoroughly convinced about the amounts of matter they need to find. The cosmology of the expanding universe is _extremely_ vulnerable to small measurement errors. Even numbers like the Hubble Constant are still being refined, and the gravitational analyses and behavioral analyses of galaxies billions of years old and billions of lightyears distant is vulnerable to many distortions and misanalyses. There comes a point in the ded

        • The amounts of "missing mass" needed to account for the orbital velocity profiles of spiral galaxies is around an order of magnitude greater than the upper limit of non-luminous compact matter detected by MACHO surveys. Other surveys looking at luminous matter and dispersed non-luminous matter (dust clouds and gas nebulae) also didn't find enough matter to explain the discrepancy between the apparently present gravitating mass, and the inventory of luminous and non-luminous matter.

          you need to pause, apply O

  • by slashdice ( 3722985 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @09:21AM (#50862379)

    It amazes me that so many allegedly "educated" people have fallen so quickly and so hard for a fraudulent fabrication of such laughable proportions. The very idea that a gigantic ball of rock happens to orbit our planet, showing itself in neat, four-week cycles -- with the same side facing us all the time -- is ludicrous. Furthermore, it is an insult to common sense and a damnable affront to intellectual honesty and integrity. That people actually believe it is evidence that the liberals have wrested the last vestiges of control of our public school system from decent, God-fearing Americans (as if any further evidence was needed! Daddy's Roommate? God Almighty!)

    Documentaries such as Enemy of the State have accurately portrayed the elaborate, byzantine network of surveillance satellites that the liberals have sent into space to spy on law-abiding Americans. Equipped with technology developed by Handgun Control, Inc., these satellites have the ability to detect firearms from hundreds of kilometers up. That's right, neighbors .. the next time you're out in the backyard exercising your Second Amendment rights, the liberals will see it! These satellites are sensitive enough to tell the difference between a Colt .45 and a .38 Special! And when they detect you with a firearm, their computers cross-reference the address to figure out your name, and then an enormous database housed at Berkeley is updated with information about you.

    Of course, this all works fine during the day, but what about at night? Even the liberals can't control the rotation of the Earth to prevent nightfall from setting in (only Joshua was able to ask for that particular favor!) That's where the "moon" comes in. Powered by nuclear reactors, the "moon" is nothing more than an enormous balloon, emitting trillions of candlepower of gun-revealing light. Piloted by key members of the liberal community, the "moon" is strategically moved across the country, pointing out those who dare to make use of their God-given rights at night!

    Yes, I know this probably sounds paranoid and preposterous, but consider this. Despite what the revisionist historians tell you, there is no mention of the "moon" anywhere in literature or historical documents -- anywhere -- before 1950. That is when it was initially launched. When President Josef Kennedy, at the State of the Union address, proclaimed "We choose to go to the moon", he may as well have said "We choose to go to the weather balloon." The subsequent faking of a "moon" landing on national TV was the first step in a long history of the erosion of our constitutional rights by leftists in this country. No longer can we hide from our government when the sun goes down.

    • The flaw in your scenario is that it would require liberals to use technology.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      before 1950. That is when it was initially launched.

      OK. But I was taught the Nazis launched it at the end of WWII. And it rotates to keep one face toward the Earth so we can't see their base on the other side.

    • You actually believe that people have launched satellites? I hope you at least have a crossbow in your desk drawer.

  • And there's nobody there to hear it

    Will there be a slashdot post about it?

  • by ChromaticDragon ( 1034458 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @11:13AM (#50863189)

    How does this affect or is affected by our estimates of the age of the Sun and Solar System?

    As far as I understand, the best guide we have of the age of the Solar System is rocks on Earth used to estimate the age of Earth.

    How much extra time would be required for this supposed possibility of the inner planets forming after the gas giants sweeping in and back out?

    What tests could be done with rocks from Callisto or Ganymede to constrain the age of the Solar System?

    • How does this affect or is affected by our estimates of the age of the Sun and Solar System?

      Fair enough question.

      The answer is : not in the slightest.

      As far as I understand, the best guide we have of the age of the Solar System is rocks on Earth used to estimate the age of Earth.

      Your knowledge is incomplete - it is a LONG way from the state of the art in the 1960s, and since then we've acquired a lot more knowledge.

      Once radiometric dating had reached a reasonable degree of accuracy - a few percent, inste

  • Kepler found several dozen multiplanet systems. Most of these were planets as large as Neptune orbiting is less than two years. There is a bias toward fast and large planets in the current technology.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The only reason that theory was forwarded was because, at the time, detection of large gas giant planets close to stars in other solar systems were the only good observation we had of planets around other solar systems. So since we could only detect large planets whose orbits created wobbles in remote stars the scientists at the time thought, "We this is pretty common so maybe all solar systems have gas giants orbiting close to their star at some point in their lifetimes." But as with most cosmology, the

  • "So it turns out that wasn't..." (Removes glasses) "... such a nice model afterall!"
  • explain the axial tilts of the planets. Also not sure if they have taken the Schwadron retention theory into account and how these neely discovered interstellar boundaries could play a role in planet formation.
  • TFS talks about the gas giants migrating into the inner solar system, then out again.

    This is incorrect. What marched through the inner solar system was a series of small-number resonances (1:2, 2:3, 2:5, etc) with the orbits of (proto-)Jupiter and (proto-)Saturn, as the planets moved by considerably smaller amounts.

    The migration of those resonant orbits disturbed the orbits of smaller bodies, which then interact (collide) with other bodies and amongst themselves, resulting in accretion or ejection.

    Both J

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