Scientists have long puzzled over how our solar system’s planets formed, because this isn’t a process they can watch unfold. Researchers have generally thought that Jupiter and Saturn grew out of collisions of smaller clumps of rock and ice, building up proto-planets called planetesimals. But the prevailing model produced far too many.
Scientists’ new computer model found a way for these massive wonders to form from mere collections of pebbles.
When our solar system forme