cooking up a planet, just for fun

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Old Rocks, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Old Rocks

    Old Rocks Diamond Member

    Oct 31, 2008
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    Portland, Ore.
    As we observe more, the universe just gets more interesting.

    Recipes for planet formation -

    Recipes for planet formation
    Nov 2, 2009 2 comments

    Observations of extrasolar planets are shaping our ideas about how planetary systems form and evolve. Michael R Meyer describes what's cooking elsewhere in our galaxy – and beyond

    Variations on a theme
    Anyone who has ever used baking soda instead of baking powder when trying to make a cake knows a simple truth: ingredients matter. The same is true for planet formation. Planets are made from the materials that coalesce in a rotating disk around young stars – essentially the "leftovers" from when the stars themselves formed through the gravitational collapse of rotating clouds of gas and dust. The planet-making disk should therefore initially have the same gas-to-dust ratio as the interstellar medium: about 100 to 1, by mass. Similarly, it seems logical that the elemental composition of the disk should match that of the star, reflecting the initial conditions at that particular spot in the galaxy.

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