8.4-The Aftermath of Planet Formation, 8.5-The Age of the Solar System

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University of Toronto St. George
Astronomy & Astrophysics

8.4 The Aftermath of Planet Formation Asteroids and Comets -although the solar wind blew away excess gas, many planetesimals remained scattered between the newly formed planets -became asteroids and comets -asteroids: rocky leftover planetesimals of the inner solar system -no planet formed between Mars and Jupiter (Asteroid Belt) -comets: ice-rich leftover planetesimals of the outer solar system -initially populated the entire outer solar system, beyond Neptune -these large comets became the comets of the Kuiper Belt -Pluto is sometimes considered as a large comet of the Kuiper -there were comets that roamed between the jovian planets, suffered close gravitational encounters with these planets -caused most of these comets to be kicked into orbits that carried them far from the Sun -their new orbits no longer display the original orderly motion of the disk (Oort Cloud) -these comets are undetectable with present technology Explaining Exceptions to the Rules Heavy Bombardment -the asteroids and comets that exists today is probably a very small fraction of the vast numbers of leftover planetesimals that roamed the younger solar system -the vast majority of these collisions occurred in the first few hundred million years of our solar systems history, during the period we call the heavy bombardment -every world in our solar system must have been pelted by impacts during the heavy bombardment -some of these impacts left scars that we can still see today as impact craters -water, along with o
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