Letter | Published:

Origin of the Solar System

Naturevolume 187pages11021103 (1960) | Download Citation



IN a recent communication1, Dr. M. M. Woolfson has outlined a model to account for the origin of the solar system. In common with many earlier hypotheses2, he postulates an interaction between the primitive Sun and a second star. By gravitational interactions he proposes that the Sun lost a large amount of surface matter by the breaking away of tidal bulges. This matter is envisaged to have been lost in a series of isolated events and the resulting separate sections gave rise to a planet.

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  1. 1

    Woolfson, M. M., Nature, 187, 47 (1960).

  2. 2

    Chamberlin, T. C., Astrophys. J., 14, 17 (1901). Jeans, J. H., Mem. Roy. Astro. Soc., 62, 1 (1917). Jeffreys, H., Mon. Not. Roy. Astro. Soc., 78, 424 (1918); ibid., 89, 636 (1929). Lyttleton, R. A., ibid., 96, 559 (1936). Moulton, F. R., Astrophys. J., 22, 165 (1905). Russell, H. N., “The Solar System and its Origin” (Macmillan, New York, 1935).

  3. 3

    Urey, H. C., Proc. Chem. Soc., 67 (1958); “Year Book of the Physical Society”, 14 (1957).

  4. 4

    Spitzer, L., Astrophys. J., 90, 675 (1939).

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    Briggs, M. H., J. Brit. Interplanet. Soc., 17, 59 (1959). Deich, A. N., Priroda, 5–6, 99 (1944). Kuiper, G. P., in “Astrophysics”, 357, edit. by Hynek, J. A. (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1951). Pariiskii, N. N., Usp. Astron. Nauk, 2, 137 (1941). Rein, N., and Pariiskii, N. N., Astron. J. (Moscow), 16, 77 (1939). Strand, K. A., Proc. Amer. Phil. Soc., 86, 364 (1943).

  6. 6

    Kuiper, G. P., loc. cit.

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  1. Department of Chemistry, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

    • M. H. BRIGGS


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