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Old 08-21-2011, 08:05 PM   #12
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Planetary Romance and the outer planets

Originally Posted by isf View Post
Do I have this nebular theory correct?
1 Nebula starts contracting and cooling off leaving rings.
2 The rings cool off and form planets
3. the planets go from suns to gas giants to rocky bodies through cooling and contracting (the differences being size and age)
4. planets may cool and contract enough to explode like the fifth planet
That's the way I understand it. In effect he's sort of regarding the gas giants as a kind of "brown dwarfs." Of course when he wrote that they didn't really know about fusion and assumed that the heat of a celestial body came entirely from the conversion of potential to kinetic (thermal) energy during gravitational collapse.

Bill Stoddard
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