Planetary Formation

Rings in the Early Solar System Kept our Planet From Becoming a Super-Earth

A team led by Rice University has created a new model of planetary formation that answer how the Solar System…

2 weeks ago

Even Really Massive Stars Seem to Have Planets

Can planets form around massive, hot stars? Some astronomers think they can't. According to the evidence, planets around stars exceeding…

1 month ago

The Early Solar System Had a Gap Where the Asteroid Belt is Today

Wind the cosmic clock back a few billion years and our Solar System looked much different than it does today.…

3 months ago

The Early Solar System was Messier and More Violent Than Previously Believed

Our conventional models of planet formation may have to be updated, according to a pair of new papers. Accretion is…

4 months ago

There Should be More Material Left Over From Bombardment Eras. Maybe the Sun Blew it all Away?

The early solar system was an especially violent place. The terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) likely formed by…

5 months ago

Many Sunlike Stars Gobbled up Some of Their Planets

New research shows that other sunlike stars in our galaxy aren't so kind to their planets. Up to a quarter…

5 months ago

This is how you get Tatooines. Binary Star Planet Formation

One of the less appreciated aspects of George Lucas’ vision for Star Wars was that he predicted the existence of…

6 months ago

The Sun is Mellow Yellow Today. Billions of Years Ago? Not So Much

Planetary formation theory has been undergoing a lot of changes recently, with an ever expanding litany of events that can…

7 months ago

Does Mercury Have a big Iron Core Because it’s so Close to the Sun’s Magnetic Field?

Magnetic fields are great for lots of things - directing explorers, levitating trains, and containing nuclear fusion reactions are just…

7 months ago

Astronomers see an Accretion Disk Where Planets are About to Form

Planet formation is notoriously difficult to study.  Not only does the process take millions of years, making it impossible to…

7 months ago