This hole may have served as a cosmic boundary, allowing Earth-like planets to emerge on one side, while gas giant planets loomed large in the outer regions.
In recent years, astronomers have often noticed distinct “voids” and “holes” in the disks around other young stars. So far, they are very puzzling phenomena. But in a new study, researchers have found evidence that our solar system may have had such a mysterious “hole”. This may explain the amazing split between the planets in our solar system.
In the early solar system, the so-called protoplanetary disk, made up of dust and gas, revolved around the sun. A protoplanetary disk is actually an oblate disk, similar to a music record, that forms around a very young star and in which planets are born. Scientists have looked at ancient meteorites that collided with Earth in a new study. Based on this analysis, they now suggest that the protoplanetary disk around our young sun – about 4.567 billion years ago – was also a true hole.
Researchers believe that this hole was close to where we now find the asteroid belt – a region of the Solar System located roughly between the planets Mars and Jupiter.
How did this hole arise? Researchers don’t really know that. One possibility is that Jupiter had an influence. When the gas giant crystallized, its massive gravity may have pushed the gas and dust out, making a hole in the evolving disk. Another possibility relates to winds from the surface of the disk. Young planetary systems have strong magnetic fields. And when these fields interact with a rotating disk of gas and dust, they can create strong winds that blow the material in powerful storms, leaving an empty gap in the disk.
Although the last word has yet to be said about the origin of the crater, researchers have an idea of the purpose of using this crater.
According to the team, this hole acted as a cosmic boundary, preventing material on either side of it from interacting with each other. This physical separation may have contributed to the formation of the planets in our solar system. For example, Earth-like planets were born inside the crater, such as Earth and Mars. From gas and dust on the other side, Jupiter and the gas and ice giants adjacent to it were born.
It’s an interesting theory. This could well explain the apparent split in our solar system. “It must have been very difficult to bridge the gap,” researcher Kawi Borlina said. “It provides evidence that the formation of our planets was limited to specific regions in the early solar system.”
Not only does the study learn more about our solar system, but it can also provide more insight into other planetary systems. “Holes are common in protoplanetary systems,” says Borlina. “And now we are showing that we also have one in our solar system. This provides evidence that such holes affect planet formation.”
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