Saturday, August 31, 2013

4.6 Billion and Counting (presentation is online)

I just put my presentation on the Nice model of the solar system, 4.6 and Counting, on my website at

My presentation is primarily for my use in that I'm not trying to write out all the explanation I provide when I present it. Also, there are four interactive animations that lack instructions. Curious observers will have to make their own discoveries. However, I've provided a lot of illustrations with descriptions, so one may find it instructive. As always, I invite suggestions and corrections.

Notes on interactive illustrations:
"Exoplanets": I use an animation of the solar system to compare our solar system with two exoplanet systems. The exoplanet systems are examples of systems that would not have been created without significant planetary migration. Clicking a planet will scale the size to the clicked planet's orbit. For example, click Mercury at the bottom of the page, find the horizontal speed slider to slow down the movement, then click one of the planet check boxes near Mercury to see the orbits of a Kepler system.

"Resonance": I use this to illustrate how a 1:2 resonance can disturb the orbit of a planet. Click the "inner" check box and then watch what happens to the inner planet. I never finished this animation for the outer planet. My intention is to show how an eccentric orbit of a KBO object can be stabilized by a resonance with a planet like Neptune.

"Res2": Here I show that resonance can occur when one or two planets migrate. You can change the positions of the two planets to create a 1:2 or 2:3 resonance.

"Planet Toss": Press any key to move through this animation that shows the interaction between large planets and small planetesimals.

And all the other chapters have text at the bottom describing the pictures.


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