How Solar Systems Are Formed

I found an interesting article on astronomy.com entitled: This Tiny Solar System Packs Seven Earth-sized Planets. This article is an updated news story about a system that was discovered in May of 2016. The original thought was that the system was comprised of 3 planets but it is now confirmed that there are 7 planets. Unlike our giant sun, this systems ‘star’ is around the size of Juipter and the planets act more like moons as they revolve around the star. With the new addition to the number of planets, scientists are still trying to locate and get information about the other planets. A few of them have very strange orbital paths which intrege scientists. Some believe that there is still much to discover with this system.

This relates to our objective because this is a new system that has been formed and maybe even the fact that some of the planets having very strange orbital patterns reflect this. Overall there are a few different theories of how our solar system was formed. Protoplanetary Disk is the idea that gravity forms a cloud of various materials and forms a disk and that all the left over material forms the planets. Our solar system has one large object in the middle, and smaller objects orbit around it but do not collide because of the size difference. We looked at a virtual model of this on the computer where we changed the size and the velocity to see what happens with both objects, or in our case stars and planets. Different materials are found in different locations based on temperature. Gas giants are further away from the sun well rocky planets, like Earth, are closer to the sun. In addition we looked at a few pages in our workbook to further help understand this concept.

What I found interesting about this article is that this a genuine example of information about space is always changing. In 2016, people thought the system only had 3 planets but now, less then a year later, 4 additional planets have been discoved. Who knows what that will look like a year from now because of the increase in information and technology.

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