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The Origin of the - The Origin of the Solar System The...

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The Origin of the Solar System The Nebular Hypothesis in its original form was proposed by Kant and Laplace in the 18th century. The initial steps are indicated in the following figures. Collapsing Clouds of Gas and Dust A great cloud of gas and dust (called a nebula ) begins to collapse because the gravitational forces that would like to collapse it overcome the forces associated with gas pressure that would like to expand it (the initial collapse might be triggered by a variety of perturbations---a supernova blast wave, density waves in spiral galaxies, etc.). In the Nebular Hypothesis, a cloud of gas and dust collapsed by gravity begins to spin faster because of angular momentum conservation It is unlikely that such a nebula would be created with no angular momentum, so it is probably initially spinning slowly. Because of conservation of angular momentum, the cloud spins faster as it contracts. The Spinning Nebula Flattens Because of the competing forces associated with gravity, gas pressure, and rotation, the contracting nebula begins to flatten into a spinning pancake shape with a bulge at the center, as illustrated in the following figure.
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