A new theory argues that Earth and Mars originally formed a single protoplanet—Terramars—outside the orbit of Jupiter. Then, over 4 billion years ago, Terramars was pulled by Jupiter’s powerful gravitational field past the gas giant. As Terramars neared Jupiter, tidal forces heated it to the melting point, and Jupiter pulled Mars away from Earth. Both planets, now turned into red-hot comets, sped off into the inner solar system.
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A new theory of the origin of the terrestrial planets appears to solve longstanding scientific riddles.
Researchers have encountered repeated frustration in their efforts to agree on how Earth came to have a significant amount of water. Meanwhile, the giant impact theory of the origin of the Earth-Moon system requires an elaborate scenario that seems impossible to verify and is undermined by new evidence. And none of the scores of hypotheses of the cause of the mass extinctions of prehistory has gained acceptance. Yet the new theory of the origin of the terrestrial planets can solve all three problems, and minor ones as well. Continue reading »