News of the WeekPlanetary Science

Shaking Up a Nursery of Giant Planets

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Science  10 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5447, pp. 2054
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5447.2054a

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Theorists don't believe Uranus and Neptune could have formed so far from the sun; there, gas and dust were too sparse to coalesce into planets. Now, a new computer model suggests that sibling rivalry might be to blame for their banishment. Runty Uranus and Neptune may have grown up in tight quarters much closer to the sun, only to have the big bruisers Jupiter and Saturn fling them into the outer reaches of the solar system.