Hamilton, D.P. 1998. Circular Problems.
Nature 396, 413.
Probably the most striking regularity observed in our Solar System is
that the planets all follow nearly circular, nearly coplanar orbits
about the Sun. This feature lends strong support to the theory that
the planets accreted out of the solar nebula - a flattened disk of gas
and dust that surrounded the young Sun. But do flattened disks of dust
and gas inevitably lead to a few massive widely-spaced planets on
circular uninclined orbits? In the case of the inner Solar System,
results from recent numerical simulations* suggest that this may not
be the case.
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