The Sun Used to Have Saturn-Like Rings That Stopped Earth From Being a ‘Super-Earth’ https://t.co/aSmpN2HubM pic.twitter.com/IBE0v0bxI0
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Before the appearance of the Earth and other planets in our Solar System, the Sun could be surrounded by giant rings of dust, like Saturn.
Perhaps they prevented the Earth from turning into a “super-earth” – a type of planet that is about twice the size of Earth and 10 times “heavier,” astrophysicists from the United States said.
Astronomers have found that super-earths revolve around about 30% of the sun-like stars in our galaxy, that is, they are quite typical. This means that there must be a reason why there is not a single super-earth in our Solar System.
In their research, astrophysicists have created a computer model of the formation of the Solar System, which arose from a “collapsed” cloud of dust and gas, known as the solar nebula. The simulation showed that the young Sun was surrounded by areas of high gas and dust pressure. They arose when the particles moved towards the Sun under its strong gravitational attraction, heated up and released a large amount of vaporized gas.
There were probably three separate regions where solid particles evaporated into gas. These are the so-called “sublimation lines”, on which dust accumulated, and as a result three rings were formed.
Over time, they cooled down and approached the Sun. Dust began to accumulate in planetesimals — the “embryos” of planets.
According to the simulation, the closest ring to the Sun formed Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. The middle ring eventually became the planets of the outer Solar system, and the outer ring formed comets, asteroids, and other small bodies in the Kuiper Belt beyond the orbit of Neptune.
The time of the formation of the middle ring has become decisive in the question of why there is no super-earth in the Solar System. If it had formed a little later, enough material would have accumulated in the inner Solar system to form it.
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