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The solar system - regions to get isolated or change their...

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The solar system - location and general information The solar system is located in the outer reaches of a minor arm of a spiral galaxy which is very similar to many others. "Our" galaxy is 3.2 10 9 AU across (50,000LY - LY = light-year). We are 34,000 LY from the centre. In the galaxy there are 10 11 stars in an "interstellar medium" of gas and dust. The gas and dust is thought to be the source of the stars. This gas and dust permeates the galaxy. The mass of this will have a gravitational attraction tending to make the cloud of material coake the cloud of material collapse in on itself, but usually internal forces like spin, electric and magnetic fields and thermal motions prevent this collapse from occurring. However, there is much chaotic behaviour in the complex gas/dust field and it is possible for
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Unformatted text preview: regions to get isolated or change their characteristics. Two regions of slightly higher density might collide, for example, and the resultant shock might trigger collapse: An alternative might be that two sub-critically-sized clouds merge and thence form a body which has too large a density to prevent collapse. Whatever starts the collapse, as it gathers momentum it will tend to be self-sustaining, as the gravitational force is concentrated by the material moving towards a central point: this collapse gathers pace until a distinct central body is formed - this is the origin of the central star of the system. (Hence planetary system cosmogony is usually linked to stellar system creation.)...
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