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New Planets
Evolution of giant planets


This animation shows the evolution of giant planets from 20 million years before the instability to 30 million years after the instability (the actual simulation covered a much longer time span). Five initial planets are shown by red circles, small bodies are in green. The fifth planet is ejected at the instability causing a general disorder. The system of the remaining four planets stabilizes after a while, and looks like the outer solar system in the end, with giant planets at 5, 10, 20 and 30 astronomical units. This is just one of more than 6,000 simulations performed to study the likelihood of planet ejection. Credit: Animation courtesy of Southwest Research Institute Read more: Image courtesy of Southwest Research Institute

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