The Formation of the Solar System

Formation of the Solar System (CCU)

Unit 4

Learning Objectives

  • Identify at least two dynamic and two chemical properties of the solar system that any model of origin must explain. Describe briefly the chemical condensation model.
  • Describe the concepts of angular momentum and the conservation of angular momentum. Know how this relates to accretion disks.
  • Describe the role of accretion in the formation and initial heating of the planets and the role of impacts in the subsequent intense bombardment early in the solar system’s life.
  • Describe the process of cratering of planetary surfaces and tell how craters can be used to infer the relative ages of the surfaces.
  • Present the unique characteristics of Pluto that make it neither a Jovian nor a terrestrial planet.


The Evolution of the Solar System

  • Accretion disk
  • Condensation theory
  • Early bombardment

Solar System Remnants: Asteroids, Meteors, Comets, Asteroid Belt, Kuiper Belt, Oort Cloud

Formation of the Solar System Notes


Read Introduction, Solar System Formation, Asteroids & Comets and/or Chapter 11 in Zeilik.

Online Homework – Formation of the Solar System