Planet Formation

How Do They Make Them Like They Do?

John Weiss

Mar 14, 1999

Solar System Montage


The question of the origin of the Earth and the planets is one of the oldest our species has asked itself, but only in the past few decades has a coherent, viable theory come into being. In this paper, I describe planetesimal theory of planet formation, currently by far the strongest theory. I also present some evidence supporting the theory. Finally, I use the planetesimal theory to explain a number of properties of the planets and take a brief glimpse at the prospects for live-bearing planets elsewhere in the universe.

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