TNRTB Archive – Retained for reference information
Advances in planetary system formation models highlight the fine-tuning in the solar system to ensure Earth’s long-term habitability. Gas-giant planets form more quickly than terrestrial planets and often migrate closer to their parent stars after forming. A team of U.S. scientists modeled the formation of terrestrial planets under this scenario and showed that planets can form in the habitable zone with significant amounts of liquid water after the gas giant has migrated into the habitable zone. However, these gas giants can no longer effectively shield the watery planet from the frequent impact events that inevitably occur. Additionally, the migration occurs too early to sufficiently deplete the outer regions of the system of bodies that could impact the watery planet. These results demonstrate just how difficult it is to form an Earth-like planet that meets all the known livability requirements. RTB’s creation model argues that such improbabilities are one signature of a supernatural Designer preparing a habitat for humanity.
- Sean N. Raymond, Avi M. Mandell, and Steinn Sigurdsson, “Exotic Earths: Forming Habitable Worlds with Giant Planet Migration,” Science 313 (2006): 1413-16.
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