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Planetary puzzle – scinexx.de

The oldest pieces in the solar system follow a puzzling law: their size is not random, but rather groups of about 100 kilometers away. but why? Two astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy can solve this mystery. They deciphered the factors that determined the size of the original asteroids – and revealed a fundamental length scale for the early Solar System.

When planets and planets formed 4.5 billion years ago, pebble-sized bodies clumped to form larger clusters called planets. Their traces have been preserved today as asteroids in the asteroid belt and in the Kuiper belt. It shows a characteristic size distribution, which astronomers may have discovered by now.

In doing so, they are rewriting a chapter in the formation of the planets around the sun. Their model also allows specific predictions about what space probes should find in the outer solar system. The new longitude scale of the early solar system also provides valuable information about the properties of exoplanets.

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