HYDROSTATIC EQUILIBRIUM and PLANETARY DIFFERENTIATION

By: Mike Luciuk, Jeremy Carlo

INTRODUCTION

During formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago, a cold molecular gas and dust cloud began to contract around its denser portions. As the cloud contracted, its rotation rate increased and it evolved to a disk‐like configuration. Over time, the proto‐Sun and proto‐ planets formed. Figure 1 illustrates planet compositions and temperatures versus proto‐Sun distance. As illustrated, four terrestrial planets and many smaller rocky bodies were formed closest to the proto‐Sun, then … Read the rest “HYDROSTATIC EQUILIBRIUM and PLANETARY DIFFERENTIATION”