Why isn't the asteroid belt a planet?

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Greg Lorenz

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Why isn't the asteroid belt a planet?
« on: 12/10/2008 12:28:39 »
Greg Lorenz asked the Naked Scientists:

Why isn't the asteroid belt a planet? Aren't big pieces of stuff
suppose to attract small pieces of stuff and boom a planet. Or is this the sign of a Death Star attack?

What do you think?

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Offline ukmicky

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Why isn't the asteroid belt a planet?
« Reply #1 on: 12/10/2008 15:20:05 »
I believe it could be due to thier not being enough stuff and also the gravitational influence of jupiter  disrupting the behaviour of the orbiting rocks.

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Offline LeeE

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Why isn't the asteroid belt a planet?
« Reply #2 on: 12/10/2008 15:42:42 »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid_belt

Is quite good on the subject.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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lyner

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Why isn't the asteroid belt a planet?
« Reply #3 on: 13/10/2008 09:13:04 »
It makes one wonder how there can ever be more than just one big plant in any system. I guess it's a matter of the actual numbers and quantities involved.

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Offline LeeE

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Why isn't the asteroid belt a planet?
« Reply #4 on: 13/10/2008 17:12:32 »
I think it's largely due to the spacing between the orbits.  In the mid/outer solar system, the orbital distance from the Sun (very) roughly doubles as you move out.  From Mars, at 1.5 AU distance from Sol, we get the asteroid belt, roughly centered at 2.8 AU, with Jupiter at 5.2 AU, Saturn at 9.5 AU, Uranus at 19.6 AU and Neptune at 30 AU (where it goes a bit skew-whiff), so I guess that a lot of it comes down to gravity following an inverse square law.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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Offline common_sense_seeker

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Why isn't the asteroid belt a planet?
« Reply #5 on: 15/10/2008 15:42:40 »
Greg Lorenz asked the Naked Scientists:

Why isn't the asteroid belt a planet? Aren't big pieces of stuff
suppose to attract small pieces of stuff and boom a planet. Or is this the sign of a Death Star attack?

What do you think?

It's a very good question Greg. I have an alternative explanation of how the planets attract gravitationally in 'New Theories'. My reason is that a core of non-baryonic matter with a much greater force of attraction is needed.