Science Behind the Nebular Hypothesis

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Science behind the Nebular Hypothesis

Heather Smith

PHY 104

John Ensworth

July 3, 2011

Science is a broad subject for anyone because there is so much information that came from Science. Science is another way of looking at things, however; not all scientific information is accurate for much of it an educated guesses or theories. One scientific method that has been well known and questioned numerous times has been the formation of the sun and our planets. What is this method I am talking about? I am speaking of the Nebular Hypothesis. The person who came up with the Nebular Hypothesis, steps of the Nebular Hypothesis are quite informative, the logic behind it, and the difference between a hypothesis, theory, and Scientific Law will hopefully open your eyes to a wonderful exciting view on our Solar System.

In 1755, Immanuel Kant was the first person to discuss the planet formation. He believed that it was caused by a nebulae (huge cloud of dust and gas) was pulled together by gravity in which it collapsed into a flat rotating disk. The disk over a period of time coalesced into what we know now as our Sun and planets. It was not until 1796 when someone named Pierre Laplace expanded on Kant’s theory. This theory becomes known as the Nebular Hypothesis. Laplace also proposed that the planets were formed by rings of matter split off a rotating nebulae by centrifugal force (Planet Formation).

The Nebular Hypothesis is used to discuss how the planets and sun were formed, but what are the steps? The steps are as followed:

Step one:

[pic]As the cloud collapses, it heats up and compresses in the center. It heats enough for the dust to vaporize. The initial collapse is supposed to take less than 100,000 years.

Step two:


The gas cools off enough for the metal, rock and ice to condense out into tiny particles. The metals condense almost as soon as the accretion disk forms; the rock condenses a bit later (between 4.4 and...
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