Wednesday, 3 October 2012


New research by Tagir Abdylmyanov, an associate professor from Kazan State Power Engineering University in Russia, suggests our solar system’s planets may have formed at differing times, which were determined by shock waves which came flowing from the young sun. The research also suggests Earth, Mercury, Venus and Mars are the youngest planets in the solar system. This work presents a new way in which scientists can predict where planets form in young solar systems.

Abdylmyanov based his work on a solar system formation theory proposed by Japanese astrophysicists in 1985 in the book "Protostars and Planets II”. In it, the Japanese scientists suggested that the solar system began with a solar nebula that gradually evolved to form clumps of dust that gelled to make protoplanets and then planets. Abdylmyanov adapted his own mathematical models to take this previous research even further, by suggesting the planets formed at different times instead of all at the same time.

Abdylmyanov modelled the movement of particles in fluids and gases inside the gas cloud from which our sun formed and theorised that the movements of this material would have created shockwaves as the sun evolved. His work suggests that each series of shockwaves created a series of debris rings around the sun that accreted over millions of years into planets. The modern distance between the orbits of the planets is assumed to be the result of the action of the shock waves and the solar activity when the star was forming.

The first series of shockwaves, which came from short but very rapid changes in solar activity, would have created the protoplanetary rings for Uranus, Neptune and dwarf planet Pluto, very close in time to the sun’s birth. 3 million years later, less powerful shockwaves created the debris ring which ultimately became Saturn, and then 500,000 years later Jupiter’s debris ring may have formed. Shock waves about a million years after that, when the sun was far calmer, created the asteroid belt; 500,000 years after that would see the creation of the protoplanetary rings for Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.

Abdylmyanov’s research also shows that gas and dust accretions could have caused accelerated planetary formation from the protoplanetary rings. This would likely favour the formation of only one planet from that ring, rather than several.

Scientists can study the brightness of stars in the process of forming to find indications as to the intensity of the stellar shock waves, and then may be able to predict the location of planets around stars millions of years before they have formed.


Post a Comment


free counters