Planet Formation: What's New with the Oldest Events in the Solar System
Dr. Bill Bottke discusses several recent advances that are helping to rewrite the history of the Solar System as we know it. It was previously thought that our planets remained more or less in the same location as where they originally formed. New models, illustrated by Bottke's animations, show how the gas giant planets dramatically migrated to new locations nearly a half billion years after their formation. This cataclysmic event scattered asteroids and comets throughout the Solar System and produced huge impact basins on the Earth, Moon, and Mars. Some of the Solar System's most intriguing questions, such as when did life develop on the Earth, and when and where did Mars get its water, may be linked to this last critical phase of planet formation.
Provided by the National Science Foundation