Solar System Models (03:25)
An orrery shows the traditional perspective of the planets and their orbits. Astronomers are beginning to understand how the solar system was created. See what the solar system looks like when the orrery is scaled closer to reality.
Solar System Positioning (03:44)
Jupiter may have defined our solar system. Astronomers find it difficult to create a model with the planets in the position we currently see them. Experts question Mars' mass, the formation of the outer planets, the asteroid belt composition, and the moon's craters.
Birth of the First Planet (03:57)
A massive cloud collapse formed our sun 4.5 billion years ago. Jupiter appears to be the first planet created from the leftover cloud. Juno should reach Jupiter in 2016 and spend a year in orbit around the planet.
Planet Building (04:36)
Astronomers hope Juno will reveal the "recipe" for the solar system. A rocky planet begins as dust while gas planets formed from a nebula of hydrogen and helium. Hear two theories on how Jupiter was formed.
Planet Location (02:07)
Astronomer Kevin Walsh examines Jupiter through a telescope. Calculations indicated that the planets were not always in a fixed orbit.
Planet Hunting (02:51)
Astronomer Chris Watson describes the type of exoplanets he and other astronomers discovered. The exoplanets' location baffled scientists.
Hot Jupiters (02:44)
Watson demonstrates what happens to dry ice when close to heat; gas giants cannot form close to a star. Scientists believe the hot Jupiters formed farther out and migrated inwards.
Detecting Exoplanets (04:47)
Watson demonstrates planetary views from Earth. Telescopes allowed the discovery of new planets and planetary systems. Watson explains the Kepler Orrery.
Watson and his team examine a star that has a hot Jupiter orbiting it. He discusses conflicting and aligned orbits. Giant gas planets have the ability to move other planets.
Planetary Migration (02:40)
Earth has been the same distance from the sun for 4.5 billion years. Migration helps explain the formation of our solar system.
Early Solar System Model (04:42)
Walsh's model explains Jupiter's migration after birth; it could explain the size of Mars and the composition of the asteroid belt. Walsh believes Saturn stopped Jupiter's inward migration.
Teenage Solar System (04:50)
The period of turbulence could explain moon craters, and the creation of Uranus, and Neptune. Levison discusses the Late Heavy Bombardment and the location of Uranus and Neptune.
Planetary Crime? (04:03)
Astronomer David Nesvorny learned that slight changes in starting conditions drastically changed the solar system. He investigated the possibility that Jupiter ejected a planet from our solar system.
Turbulent Past (01:59)
Evidence revealed that our idea of fixed orbits was incorrect; Jupiter is the crux of our solar system's formation. A stable system of planets is a fluke.
Credits: Secrets of the Solar System (00:44)
Credits: Secrets of the Solar System
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