Why Earth Didn’t Become 5 to 10 Times Larger than its Current Size

An international team consisting of astrophysicists from the United States, France and Germany has provided a scientific explanation for why the Earth is so small in our solar system.

In a report published by the French magazine “Le Point”, author Frederic Luino says that if the solar system had expanded like most other groups, the mass of the planet would be 5 to 10 times greater than the current size.

what happened to make our planet so small?

This is what a number of scientists tried to answer in an article published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

According to astrophysicists, the explanation can be found in the nature of the rings of dust at the origin of the planets. For the record, the formation of our solar system dates back 5.56 billion years, when a cloud of dust and gas began to collapse in on itself. At the center of this gravitational collapse, a star was born: the Sun! The dust having escaped its attraction gave birth to the planets.

Usually, this dust clumps to form large rocky planets, consisting mainly of minerals and rocks, but this did not happen in our solar system. To solve this puzzle, the team drafted hundreds of computer models before finding the most convincing explanation.

It is very likely – according to scientists – that the “pressure bumps” resulting from the phenomenon of sublimation (the transformation of matter from a solid state to a gaseous state without passing through the liquid state) divided the dust cloud into 3 rings.

Dust rings

Because the sun was cold, these bumps moved away and dust gathered in the form of asteroids (also known as driving asteroids, which are small asteroids that orbit around the sun).

The dust from the first ring united to form pebbles and rocks, then gradually formed small celestial bodies, and finally formed the four terrestrial planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.

As for the second ring, far from the sun, it led to the formation of giant and gaseous planets. For the third ring, it produced dwarf planets and billions of small rocky bodies that make up what is known as the “Kuiper Belt“.