TNRTB Archive – Retained for reference information
Princeton University astronomers recently uncovered more evidence that the solar system possesses unique characteristics for the support of life. Their theoretical modeling established that when a planetary system experiences close encounters with stars, those encounters will engender a large enhancement in the orbital eccentricities of the planets. Such is the case for the known extrasolar planets. Unlike other planetary systems, the solar system was protected from stellar encounters (the Sun’s birth cluster was much smaller and looser and the Sun was ejected from the cluster much earlier and much more rapidly) that induced large eccentricities in the planetary orbits—eccentricities that would have made a life-support planet impossible. Thus, evidence continues to accumulate that the solar system is far from typical. The more we learn about extrasolar planets the stronger becomes the evidence that our solar system is uniquely and supernaturally designed for life.
- Nadia L. Zakamska and Scott Tremaine, “Excitation and Propagation of Eccentricity Disturbances in Planetary Systems,” Astronomical Journal 128 (2004): 869-77.
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