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Uncommon Earth

Simulation shows the solar system could only form under rare conditions

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4:39pm, August 7, 2008
Goldilocks isn’t the only one who demanded everything to be “just right.” The Earth and its fellow seven planets also needed perfect conditions to form as observed, and those right conditions occur rarely, a new computer simulation shows.

The new simulation, described in the Aug. 8 Science, is the first to trace from beginning to end how planetary systems form from an initial gas disk encircling a baby star.

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