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Thread: Planetary Evolution in our Solar System

  1. #1 Planetary Evolution in our Solar System 
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    In regards to planetary evolution in our Solar System I have a theory that seems to go against what most scientists believe. Having pondered it for several years I felt I should at least put it out there for discussion. I've looked for similar theories in journals and online but have found nothing. I have no proof of this theory beyond what I speculate here. I have never formally studied astronomy nor have I spent a great deal of time researching the subject. I am not a scientist and I have never worked in a scientific field. I am a graphic artist who sometimes looks at the world from a different perspective.

    So, that being said here it is...

    MY THEORY:
    I theorize that the solar system was not created all at once from a cloud of dust as modern scientists propose. Instead I propose that the planets are evolving as they approach the sun and each planet as we know it represents a different stage in the life of a planet. I propose that each planet in our solar system had, has, or will have the ability to support life. Itís possible that there were planets in our solar system billions of years ago that have since been absorbed into the Sun while there are new planets that are forming or will eventually form in our solar system.

    MY REASONING:
    Each year the Earth moves approximately 1 inch closer to the Sun. This applies to all the planets, that as time progresses each planet moves closer to the Sun. Looking at the planets themselves and their order from furthest to closest to the Sun it seems to me that we are looking at the progression of a planet in various stages from life to death.

    STAGE 1: THE BEGINNING
    Looking at our solar system we know that there are objects that orbit the Sun even beyond Pluto. I believe these objects to be the origin of a planet. Over time they will gather dust and rock and space debris, they and eventually form into a small mass that has rotation and slight gravity. As the mass grows larger it begins to orbit the Sun in an irregular planetary orbit similar to Pluto. It's not quite a perfect orbit yet but in Pluto we now have the beginnings of a planet on a journey to the Sun.

    STAGE 2: THE GAS GIANTS
    1) PLUTO TO NEPTUNE - As Pluto continues to get pulled toward the Sun it will enter a new phase in its evolution, the dust and debris that it picks up will form gasses, the planetís gravity will pull more gasses and dust into it eventually growing to a size of Neptune. Some of the smaller dwarf planets that we see will be absorbed into this new planet while others will become its moons. A small ring of dust and debris will begin to form and the result will be what we now know as Neptune.
    2) NEPTUNE TO URANUS - As Neptune moves closer to the Sun its rotation and gravity become more intense and the gasses become denser. The once solid core is now under extreme pressure and is becoming heated. The outer rings have built momentum and are now denser than before. More moons are formed from the dust and debris, the planet's gravity increases and its density increases. Eventually Neptune will look very similar to Uranus.
    3) URANUS TO SATURN - As Uranus moves closer to the Sun we now start to see a clear ring pattern of rock and debris. There are a great number of moons and the surface of the planet starts to react to the Sun's heat. New gasses evolve out of older dense gasses and we start to see a change on the planet's gas surface. It is in the 'Saturn' stage of the planets that I believe is the turning point of a planet. We are beginning to see the end of the first phase of planets and the beginning of the 'life' phase of the planets meaning that from here on out the planets are on a path that will eventually sustain life.

    STAGE 3: A SOLID PLANET IS BORN
    1) SATURN TO JUPITER - As Saturn moves closer to the Sun something dramatic happens. The rotation starts to slow, the debris in the rings collide with each other and the dust and debris are pulled into the planet, the planet grows almost double in size and the gasses cause great storms and chaos. The planets gravitation is so intense that a molten core starts to form from the gasses. It's my theory that Jupiter is really the 'birth' phase of the inner planets as we know them.
    2) JUPITER TO MARS - As Jupiter moves closer to the Sun the outer gasses begin to burn up. The planet's inner rotation begins to slow and the moons collide with each other. The planet itself is bombarded with asteroids and debris. Some debris is kicked up to form new asteroids while other debris forms a larger solid surface around the molten core. What emerges is a solid planet with a molten core, the remaining gasses form an atmosphere and ice is formed below the surface. The planet is still extremely chaotic but we start to see beginnings of what will eventually support life. The end result is what we know as Mars.

    STAGE 4: LIFE SUSTAINABLE PLANETS
    1) MARS TO EARTH - As Mars moves closer to the Sun the ice under the core starts to melt forming oceans. The molten core starts to expand and volcanic activity starts to take place. The chaos on the surface begins to settle and a sustainable atmosphere is created. The planet can eventually sustain life as the conditions become more like Earth the closer it gets to the Sun. I believe that Jurassic periods of earth started as the Earth was slightly further away from the Sun than it is today, the temperatures were colder and better suited for cold blooded creatures to rule the earth. As the Earth moved closer to the Sun it was able to support smaller warm blooded creatures better resulting in the planetary conditions that we have today.

    STAGE 5: DEATH OF A PLANET
    1) EARTH TO VENUS - As Earth moves closer to the Sun it will eventually no longer be able to support life. The atmosphere which supports and gives us life will have a greenhouse effect as we get closer to the Sun and the oxygen that we breathe will become a noxious gas. The rotation of the planet will slow more and our moon will eventually break up. Debris will fall to the planet surface covering any trace that life ever existed and the dust clouds will block any visible surface. The oceans will evaporate and gasses will consume the planet.
    2) VENUS TO MERCURY - As Venus moves closer to the Sun the gasses will burn off. The surface will burn and collapse and the molten core will die. We now have a planet in its last phase of life. The core (roughly the same size as its origin - Pluto) is a dead mass waiting to die.
    3) MERCURY TO THE SUN - Mercury will eventually be absorbed into the Sun never to be seen again. A new string of planets is now the solar system.

    SUMMARY:
    When you look at the planets and dwarf planets that make up our solar system what we are really seeing is the planetary evolution process from birth to death. Each planet as we know them is in a different stage of the planet's life. Earth was once a mass of ice and debris similar to what we know as Pluto and went through all of the stages of the outer planets building gas and rings and moons eventually ending up with a life sustaining planet. Venus was Earths predecessor and Mars is next in line. New planets that are only at the beginning stages of existence are starting to form and will eventually support life. The planetary evolution cycle will continue until the Sun dies out or eventually gets pulled into the center of the galaxy.


    Thoughts?


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  3. #2  
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    The only problem is that we can detect early planet formation from accretion disks of gas and dust around stars. Even the stars can form late from this accretion disk as is believed to have happened to our sun (a young sun with a strong solar wind would have blown away the gases that formed much of Jupiter and possibly Saturn too). Jupiter and Saturn are believed to have slingshoted smaller planets and asteroids inward and outward of the solar system in the early times.

    Every year the Earth moves about 15 cm from the Sun. The Sun "burns" some 4,000,000 tons of mass per second which is not a lot for such a massive body but it does mean that over time, it is losing noticeable amounts of mass, so it's gravitational pull on the planets of the solar system is weakening, so they are all moving further away.


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    I based it on an article I read as a kid almost 20 years ago that said that the Earth moved closer to the Sun by about an inch a year.

    If the planets are moving away from the Sun the theory that what we see today is really a progressive evolution of the life of a planet could still work but from a different direction and different progression. The idea that the planets progress and change over time through the solar system is really what I wanted to get across.
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    Moderator Moderator Dishmaster's Avatar
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    The solar system is not the only planetary system we know today. Due to observational biases, most of the other systems contain very massive, maybe gaseous, giants close to their sun; much closer than Mercury in the solar system.

    In order for Jupiter to maintain all its gas, it needs to be quite massive. It possesses about 1% of the solar mass. The sun itself already makes for almost 99% of the mass in the solar system. The rest is found in all the other planets, moons, asteroids, comets, etc. How would you administer such a development you suggest, if there is no mass left?

    In order for your - I should call it - hypothesis (not theory) to work, you will have to do some math to evaluate, whether such an evolution is really possible. Many processes are thinkable, but only a fraction of them are really physically possible.

    I could also claim: The moon is moving away from the earth a few centimetres each year (that's a fact). Does that imply that it one day will be a sun or a comet? No.

    However, it is still interesting, because your approach is quite similar to what is generally done in Astrophysics: Putting different phenomena in relation and investigate, whether there might be a sequence of evolutionary stages. This is how the theory of star formation began. It advanced to a more coherent picture up to now with a lot of support from theorists and model calculations. Without this, we cannot say anything.

    Just this picture tells us that there is always a disc of dust and gas forming during the evolution of a protostar to a star like our sun. And this disc is the starting point of the formation of planets. We still can see the remains of this disc in the solar system, the zodiacal light.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    In order for Jupiter to maintain all its gas, it needs to be quite massive. It possesses about 1% of the solar mass. The sun itself already makes for almost 99% of the mass in the solar system.
    Jovian mass is about 0,1% from the sun's mass.
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  7. #6  
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    Today the Jupiter is such small. It is the consequence of that it was formed in the neighbourhood with the Sun. In other case it could become true star http://www.thescienceforum.com/viewt...er=asc&start=0 .
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  8. #7  
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    Seems to me that the primary difficulty with your hypothesis is finding the mass necessary to make something go from small and rocky to big and gassy.

    You'll need to invision some sort of "conveyor" to bring mass from the inner system out to the edge of the system. Because as it is space in the solar system is really, really empty of gas and dust.

    Look into the solar winds. That seems to me to be the best method of finding the mass you'd need. You can probably google for the flux involved, and from that calculate what sort of time frame would be required to capture a Jovian amount of matter.

    My guess is that it's not enough. But if you could figure out a good system for bringing the mass into the outer system you'd be approaching the realm of possibility.
    "A witty saying proves nothing." - Voltaire
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  9. #8 Re: Planetary Evolution in our Solar System 
    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ams3818

    MY REASONING:
    Each year the Earth moves approximately 1 inch closer to the Sun. This applies to all the planets, that as time progresses each planet moves closer to the Sun. Looking at the planets themselves and their order from furthest to closest to the Sun it seems to me that we are looking at the progression of a planet in various stages from life to death.
    You are taking one piece of data, and making much too much out of it. There are alot of things that influence the Earth's and other planet's orbit over time that causes variations that do not indicate an overall trend.

    For instance tracked over the last 200 yrs:

    Mercury's orbit is increasing
    Venus' orbit is increasing
    Earth's orbit is increasing
    Mar's orbit is increasing
    Jupiter's orbit is decreasing
    Saturns orbit is decreasing
    Uranus' orbit is decreasing
    Neptune's orbit is increasing
    Pluto's orbit is decreasing.

    Averaged over the last 6000 yrs:

    Mercury's orbit is pretty much unchanged
    Venus' orbit decreases
    Earth's orbit decreases
    Mars, orbit increases
    Juptier's orbit decreases
    Saturn's orbit decrases
    Uranus' orbit decreases
    Neptunes orbit increases.
    Pluto's orbit increases.

    So it apparent that not all the planet's are moving in toward the Sun, and that measured over different time periods, you can get different answers as to what is happening to a given planet's orbit.

    So you really can't extrapolate anything from that 1 in a year figure.
    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


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