Skip to comments.Astronomy: Planets in chaos. Standard ideas of Planet formation are being demolished
Posted on 07/08/2014 2:09:26 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
The discovery of thousands of star systems wildly different from our own has demolished ideas about how planets form. Astronomers are searching for a whole new theory.
Not so long ago as recently as the mid-1990s, in fact there was a theory so beautiful that astronomers thought it simply had to be true.
They gave it a rather pedestrian name: the core-accretion theory. But its beauty lay in how it used just a few basic principles of physics and chemistry to account for every major feature of our Solar System. It explained why all the planets orbit the Sun in the same direction; why their orbits are almost perfectly circular and lie in or near the plane of the star's equator; why the four inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) are comparatively small, dense bodies made mostly of rock and iron; and why the four outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) are enormous, gaseous globes made mostly of hydrogen and helium. And because the same principles of physics and astronomy must apply throughout the Universe, it predicted that any system of 'exoplanets' around another star would look pretty much the same.
But in the mid-1990s, astronomers actually started finding those exoplanets and they looked nothing like those in our Solar System. Gas giants the size of Jupiter whipped around their stars in tiny orbits, where core accretion said gas giants were impossible. Other exoplanets traced out wildly elliptical orbits. Some looped around their stars' poles. Planetary systems, it seemed, could take any shape that did not violate the laws of physics.
Following the launch of NASA's planet-finding Kepler satellite in 2009, the number of possible exoplanets quickly multiplied into the thousands enough to give astronomers their first meaningful statistics on other planetary systems,
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
One of those situations where the variables are too numerous to allow an accurate theory.
It was easy when we knew of only one solar system and even our formation is only theory.
I thought the science was settled!
You mean the “consensus” was wrong?!
there was a theory so beautiful that astronomers thought it simply had to be true
Unsettled science ping.
It’s a common problem to a lot of areas of modern science: they can only make a viable theory by extrapolating beyond the scope where it would be reasonable to extrapolate. Now, the sensible thing to do in that situation would be simply not to extrapolate. However, if they did that, they would not have a theory to explain many things, and nobody will give them funding for NOT producing theories.
God is smarter than all of us.
I’m not sure this has anything to do with money (This isn’t climate “science”). After all, the current theories are just the most recent results of theories that have been developed over centuries by people who didn’t get paid for them.
I see this as a case of science working exactly as it should. In this case its a mix of theoretical and actual astronomy that has worked with a single available model until recently. Lots of things are going to change as we find systems in the process of formation and other systems in the process of formation in other ways.
Following the launch of NASA’s planet-finding Kepler satellite in 2009, the number of possible exoplanets... The operative word here being possible. No planet outside our solar system has ever been seen. The Kepler and others have only detected disturbances in other stars that could be caused by something orbiting them.
While scientific theories are falling apart “scientists” still expect everybody to believe in evolution, global warming and that homosexuality is genetic.
This stuff IS rocket science and is hard. I don’t criticize scientists for not having all the answers. I criticize scientists for their arrogance in acting like they have all the answers. A small dose of humility in the face of God’s incredible creation goes a long ways
The ignorance of most posters on this thread does help make up for the arrogance of the scientists.
I have a book in my house that explains it all in the very first sentence of the first chapter.
It really isn’t rocket science you know
This stuff IS rocket science and is hard. I don’t criticize scientists for not having all the answers. I criticize scientists for their arrogance in acting like they have all the answers. A small dose of humility in the face of God’s incredible creation goes a long way
Starting with maybe your basic theory is still okay, because how do you know these newly detected planets are, in fact, planets?
Compare a firecracker with a nuclear warhead. All you're really looking at is the development of a single basic concept. Why should the starship Enterprise be the standard conceptual size or shape of a "reasonable" imaginary spacecraft?
Iapetus comes to mind...
Thanks colorado tanker.
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