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The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
This drawing shows how forming planets drew gas to themselves.
Click on image for full size
Image from: The New Solar System

How a proto-planet sweeps up nearby material

As shown in this picture, while they were forming in the solar nebula, the nuclei of the planets-to-be (called protoplanets) drew material to themselves from the cloud of gas and dust around them. The bigger protoplanets were able to attract even more gaseous material unto themselves.

Big protoplanets such as Neptune were positioned far out in the original nebula where there was less gas, and so these protoplanets were not able to sweep up as much gas as other giant planets.


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