Origin of the solar system
- A. J. R. PrenticeAffiliated withDept. of Mathematics, Monash University
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A theory for the origin of the solar system, which is based on ideas of supersonic turbulent convection and indicates the possibility that the original Laplacian hypothesis may by valid, is presented.
We suggest that the first stage of the Sun's formation consisted of the condensation of CNO ices (i.e. H2O, NH3, CH4,...) and later H2, including He as impurity atoms, at interstellar densities to from a cloud of solid grains. These grains then migrate under gravity to their common centre of mass giving up almost two orders of magnitude of angular momentum through resistive interaction with residual gases which are tied, via the ions, to the interstellar magnetic field. Grains rich in CNO rapidly dominate the centre of the cloud at this stage, both giving up almost all of their angular momentum and forming a central chemical inhomogeneity which may account for the present low solar neutrino flux (Prentice, 1976). The rest of the grain cloud, when sufficiently compressed to sweep up the residual gases and go into free fall, is not threatened by rotational disruption until its mean size has shrunk to about the orbit of Neptune.
When the central opacity rises sufficiently to halt the free collapse at central density near 10−13 g cm−3, corresponding to a mean cloud radius of 104 R ⊙, we find that there is insufficient gravitational energy, for the vaporized cloud to acquire a complete hydrostatic equilibrium, even if a supersonic turbulent stress arising from the motions of convective elements becomes important, as Schatzman (1967) has proposed. Instead we suggest that the inner 3–4% of the cloud mass collapses freely all the way to stellar size to release sufficient energy to stabilize the rest of the infalling cloud. Our model of the early solar nebula thus consists of a small dense quasi-stellar core surrounded by a vast tenuous but opaque turbulent convective envelope.
- Origin of the solar system
The moon and the planets
Volume 19, Issue 3 , pp 341-398
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- Kluwer Academic Publishers
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- 1. Dept. of Mathematics, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia