Researchers say a third ice giant orbiting the Sun between Uranus and Neptune has disappeared from our system.
Researchers at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace say that the planet moving between Neptune and Uranus passed through our solar system at an early stage of development. This theory holds that at one time the sun was surrounded by a disk of dust and gases. Numerous collisions resulted in the formation of planets that began to move around the sun at somewhat close distances.
Gravitational interactions began between the more massive planets, which led to their current location.
To clearly see what the solar system looked like in the early stages of planet formation, a team of scientists created up to 6,000 computer simulations.
“We already know that there are thousands of planetary systems in our galaxy alone, but it turns out that the arrangement of planets in the solar system is quite unusual, so we use different models to reconstruct the process of their formation and find out what caused the planets to arrange in this way,” he said. Lead author of a study on simulations published in the journal Icarus, Matt Clement of Carnegie University.
It’s almost like post-facto determining the cause of a car crash – how fast the cars were going, in which direction, etc., “he added.
The researchers found that the location of the two farthest ice giants in the solar system, Uranus and Neptune, was influenced to some extent by the Kuiper Belt (a belt of dwarf planets and planetoids that surrounds the solar system), as well as System when it was in the early stages of development.
“This suggests that while the solar system looks a bit strange today, it has not always been that way. Moreover, now that the effectiveness of this model has been established, we can use it to study the history of the formation of solid planets like ours.” Help us find planetary systems where there might be life.