MOSCOW, June 6 — RIA Novosti. Migration of Jupiter and Saturn in the direction of the Sun had a decisive influence on the formation of planets, in particular, the "journey" of the gas giants have meant that Mars was much smaller and lighter than its class to come — Earth and Venus, write French and American astronomers in an article published in the journal Nature.
According to modern ideas, the formation of the solar system began about 4.6 billion years ago with the gravitational collapse of a small part of a giant interstellar molecular clouds. Most of the matter went to the formation of stars — the Sun. Of the remaining substance, were not included in the center, formed a rotating protoplanetary disk from which planets have in the future, their satellites, asteroids and other small bodies of the solar system.
Previously it was thought that all the planets formed around those orbits, where they are now, but in the late 20's — early 21 th century, this view has changed radically. It is possible that at the outset of the solar system looked quite differently from the way it looks now.
Scientists believe that the orbits of the giant planets, particularly Jupiter and Saturn, gradually changed during the formation of the solar system, which directly influenced the formation of proto-planetary bodies and their interaction within the zone of the terrestrial planets.
A team of astronomers led by David O'Brien (David O'Brian) from the Institute of Planetology of Tucson to test this hypothesis. Researchers have developed a computer model of the evolution of the protoplanetary disk, and got some interesting conclusions.
Simulation results show that Jupiter and Saturn are in the process of formation of the solar system several times changed its orbit closer to the luminary by a distance slightly greater than 1 astronomical unit (the average distance between the Sun and the Earth, Jupiter is now at a distance of 5.2 astronomical units). In the future, the gravitational interaction between the two has led to the fact that they gradually moved away from the sun as long as their orbit is stabilized.
Modern asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, which did not fit into the theory of "migration" of the giant planets, got its modern shape and composition is due to the interaction with Jupiter and Saturn.
Despite the fact that the giant planets "away" part of the asteroids and protoplanetary bodies in this area, they have enriched the inner protoplanetary disk asteroids class C (asteroids with high carbon content). This fact not only explains the presence of "light" and "heavy" objects in the asteroid belt, but also helps to explain the huge water reserves in the world (water is a volatile compound, and should not be present in such quantities on terrestrial planets).
"Simulation results stagger the imagination. Experiment shows that the theory of migration of Jupiter do not conflict with the existence of the asteroid belt, but also help to explain some properties of the belt, which we could not understand before," — said Kevin Walsh (Kevin Walsh), one of the participants the research team.
In addition, the study shows that Mars was not formed as Earth and Venus. The red planet was formed from protoplanetary bodies that were thrown out of the limits of the protoplanetary disk as a result of gravitational perturbations caused by movements of Jupiter and Saturn. Scientists believe this is due to the small size and weight of the red planet.