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 nucleii 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. Because of its position in the solar nebula, the proto-Saturn was able to draw an enormous amount of gas unto itself.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
The position of the planets in the solar nebula greatly affected their 1. size and 2. composition. This is because of the effect of how cold it was in the nebula. 1. The nebula was a lot warmer close to...more
The most important motions in the atmosphere are winds. The major winds in Saturn's atmosphere are the zonal winds which are made of zones and belts. Zones are high pressure systems and belts are low pressure...more
The striped cloud bands on Saturn, like Jupiter, are divided into belts and zones. In a belt, the wind flows very strongly in one direction only. In a zone, the wind flows very strongly in exactly the...more
As shown in this picture, while they were forming in the solar nebula, the nucleii of the planets-to-be (called protoplanets) drew material to themselves from the cloud of gas and dust around them. The...more
Astronomers have discovered a strange shape in Saturn's atmosphere. The shape is a hexagon. The hexagon is near Saturn's North Pole. Scientists aren't quite sure why Saturn has the hexagon shape in its...more
Saturn's South Pole is very stormy. It is also surprisingly warm. A huge, hurricane-like storm is centered on the South Pole. Astronomers recently discovered that the pole is also warmer than any other...more
Like the inner planets and Jupiter, Saturn is clearly visible in the night sky. The ancient Greeks named the planet after the god of agriculture and time. It wasn't until 1655, however, that we knew Saturn...more