Into the Fire

Closer to the protosun, in the hottest regions of the forming solar system, it was the heaviest elements, not ices and gases, that survived to form the planets. Thus the terrestrial planets are rich in the elements silicon, iron, magnesium, and aluminum. The dust grains and then planetesimals from which these planets were formed were rocky rather than icy. It is fortunate that water ice and organic compounds later rained down on the early Earth, or the present-day planet would be as lifeless as the moon.

Close Encounter

Close Encounter

If the central area of the forming solar system was too hot for light elements and gases to hang around, where did the earth's abundant volatile matter—the oxygen, nitrogen, water, and other elements and molecules so essential to life—come from?

One theory is that comets, which are icy fragments that formed in the outer solar system, were deflected out of their orbits by the intense gravitational force of the giant jovian planets. Bombarded by icy meteoroids after the planet had coalesced and cooled, the earth was thus resupplied with water and other essential elements.

Telescopes Mastery

Telescopes Mastery

Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know all about the telescopes that can provide a fun and rewarding hobby for you and your family!

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