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Understanding the Nice model

This computer simulation gives scientists hints as to why the solar system looks the way it does.
On May 26, 2005, in the journal Nature, a team of planetary scientists published its results from a computer simulation of the early solar system. Some 7.5 years later, the Nice model remains the best theory that astronomers have of our planetary system’s evolution. According to the model, the outer planets started life much closer to each other than they are now: Jupiter at 5.45 astronomical units (an AU is the average Sun-Earth distance), Saturn at 8.65 AU, Neptune between 11 and 13 AU, and Ur...

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