- Feb 24, 2016
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2019-02-earth-solid-surface-life-inclined-climate.html#jCpEarth's solid surface and moderate climate may be due, in part, to a massive star in the birth environment of the Sun, according to new computer simulations of planet formation.
Without the star's radioactive elements injected into the early solar system, our home planet could be a hostile ocean world covered in global ice sheets.
"The results of our simulations suggest that there are two qualitatively different types of planetary systems," said Tim Lichtenberg of the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS in Switzerland. "There are those similar to our solar system, whose planets have little water, and those in which primarily ocean worlds are created because no massive star was around when their host system formed."
Lichtenberg and colleagues, including University of Michigan astronomer Michael Meyer, were initially intrigued by the role the potential presence of a massive star played on the formation of a planet.
Meyer said the simulations help solve some questions, while raising others.