Sunday, December 2, 2007

Wait a Minute - What About the Asteroid Belt?

"Dark Matter" ©
In three previous posts, "Planets, Planets Everywhere," "Young Sun-like Star Already Parent," as well as The Introduction to this blog, we learn that planets seem rather common-place: they form readily. All you need is debris or dust circling a star, gravity, and time (a million to several million years). Planets even are reborn around pulsars - regenerated from the blasted debris of the star's original planets (planets destroyed by the enormous supernova explosion that preceded the star becoming a pulsar).

And this got me to thinking - how come the rocky and dusty debris of the asteroid belt has never coalesced into a planet or dwarf planet? Possibly the tidal influence of Jupiter? If anyone has any input on this matter, it would be gratefully received.