Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Submission + - Solar System might have had 5 gas giants

Sven-Erik writes: The solar system once had five giant gaseous planets rather than the four it has today. That's the conclusion from a computer simulation of the solar system's evolution, which suggests the fifth giant was hurled into interstellar space some 4 billion years ago, after a violent encounter with Jupiter.

Astronomers have struggled for decades to explain the solar system's current structure. In particular, Uranus and Neptune couldn't have formed where they are today – the disc of gas that congealed into the planets would have been too thin at the edge of the solar system to account for the ice giants' bulk.

A more likely scenario is that the planets were packed close together when they formed, and only spread out when the disc of gas and dust from which they formed was used up. The tighter orbits of extrasolar planet systems support this idea.
This discussion was created for logged-in users only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Solar System might have had 5 gas giants

Comments Filter:

"Only a brain-damaged operating system would support task switching and not make the simple next step of supporting multitasking." -- George McFry

Working...