Origin of the Solar System

  • Elazar Uchupi
  • Kenneth O. Emery

Abstract

Our Universe is believed by many astronomers and geologists to have begun 10 to 20 Ga ago with an outrush of material during the ‘Big Bang.’ Other cosmologists question the concept of the Big Bang, stating that it reflects search for a creation and a beginning (Burbidge 1992; Powell 1992); they proposed that creation is continuous and occurs in a series of little bangs. Was the Big Bang the beginning of time? If not, what came before it (Hawking 1988)? Should one visualize the Cosmos as having a beginning without a beginning, and an end without an end, as Merritt (1932, p. 30) described Khalk’rus? The present concensus is that the expansion of the Universe after the big bang appears to have gone through two stages: first, a period of rapid acceleration and inflation, when all distorting influences diminished quickly, and second, a phase when the Universe developed its present highly symmetrical state of expansion (Barrow 1991, pp. 49–50; Halliwell 1991). Stars, galaxies, and clusters of galaxies aggregated within this outrushing material when the Universe was about 1 Ga old (Riordan and Schramm 1991, pp. 3, 21; Powell 1992). Measurements on the broadest scale indicate nearly uniform radiation within the Universe, but recently the Cosmic Radiation Explorer (a satellite of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA) has mapped small variations in temperature attributed to the irregularities in radiation produced by the Big Bang. Within the past decade more detailed mapping has shown a nonuniform distribution of galaxies separated by huge voids, sheets of galaxies (such as the Great Wall, the largest coherent structure known within the Universe), and large foam-like distributions of galaxies (Spergel and Turok 1992). More than 90% of the material in the Universe consists of dark unseen matter generated during the inflation phase and required by density considerations. This dark matter is in a form that is difficult to detect, possibly as black holes, brown dwarfs, or planetary blobs the size of Jupiter or smaller (Riordan and Schramm 1991, pp. 61–62).

Keywords

Nickel Methane Graphite Zirconium Europe 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elazar Uchupi
    • 1
  • Kenneth O. Emery
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeophysicsWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution (W.H.O.I.)Woods HoleUSA

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