Why is the solar system a disk?

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Offline briligg

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Why is the solar system a disk?
« on: 04/02/2011 17:07:03 »
Why are all the planets and other bodies orbiting the sun on a single plane (mostly)? Is it related to the early dust cloud that formed the solar system spinning? How flat is the plane of the solar system?
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Offline RD

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Why is the solar system a disk?
« Reply #1 on: 04/02/2011 17:28:07 »
How flat is the plane of the solar system?

[attachment=13870]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invariable_plane
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 17:29:42 by RD »

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Offline briligg

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Why is the solar system a disk?
« Reply #2 on: 04/02/2011 18:07:14 »
ah, interesting. I went from the link to the invariable plane entry in Wikipedia, to its evolution of the solar system page, to it page on protoplantetary disks. So its basically conservation of angular momentum that makes solar systems disks?

But it looks like the sun's equator is tilted about six degrees from the invariable plane, is that correct? Shouldn't it line up with the invariable plane, considering it contains the vast majority of the solar system's mass?
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Offline Soul Surfer

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Why is the solar system a disk?
« Reply #3 on: 05/02/2011 00:06:54 »
As a vaguely spherical cloud of gravitating gas and dust collapses towards becoming a solar system any  residual angular momentum results in the formation of a disc like structure because as all the individual objects orbit the centre of gravity a disc like structure with substantially circular orbits results in a minimisation of interactions and collisions.

As for there being small departures from a precise thin plane this is only to be expected as a result of interactions during the formation of the planets.  Things that develop naturally are seldom perfectly aligned.
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Offline yor_on

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Why is the solar system a disk?
« Reply #4 on: 06/02/2011 18:50:39 »
Didn't they find planets/suns rotating the 'wrong way' recently? I read something about it a while ago I think.
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