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View Full Version : Discussion: Neptune Emptied the Kuiper Belts



Fraser
2003-Nov-27, 09:01 PM
SUMMARY: Researchers from the Southwest Research Institute believe they have a theory that could help explain why there are so few objects in the Kuiper belt - a band of objects outside the orbit of Neptune. According to theories of how planetary systems form, there should be 100 times more material in the Kuiper belt than astronomers have observed. The researchers believe that the gas giants, including Neptune, formed closer to the Sun, and have slowly drifted further out over time. As Neptune migrated out, it could have pushed the Kuiper objects out of the solar system.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/neptune_emptied_kuiper_belts)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

DippyHippy
2003-Nov-28, 11:07 PM
Actually, this is the first time I've heard there were fewer Kuiper Belt objects than expected anyway...

So... this raises the "what if" question... what if Neptune wasn't there? Is a solar system that ends with Uranus possible? And would that mean any possible life-bearing planets - ie Earth - would be under greater threat from asteroid and comet impacts?

VanderL
2003-Nov-30, 10:28 AM
It is a strange habit in science to point to a "mystery" only when an explanation for the mystery has been found. There are a lot of mysteries when it comes to planet formation theories. Many large planets have been detected that circle close their parent star (even "neutron stars"), this fact alone should be enough to seriously question current theories. But there is no accepted theory that can explain why these planets exist where they are. The only theory that explains this is the Electric Universe model, where planets are not formed gradually from an accretion disc, but are formed when the star needs to accomodate to an environment that makes the current density (the amount of electrical input to make stars shine) too high for this star. Depending on the mass of the star and the intensity of the electrical stress, a "fission" occurs where material is ejected, forming a larger surface and thereby diminishing the electrical stress. This material will form into either a planet (in what we call a nova event), or, when the star is massive enough and the stress high enough, into a companion star. It explains why there are so many binary star systems (even triple star systems) and why Jupiter-like planets can exist circling close to their (literally) parent star.
It would also fit the idea that big planets can move towards larger orbits and maybe explain the Kuiper belt "mystery".
Cheers.