The British mathematicians, Jeans and Jeffrey, presented their work at a conference, which was a significant event for earth science enthusiasts who had been eagerly awaiting this moment for decades. Everyone was hoping for new insights to help us understand our origins, but what happened next was beyond anyone’s expectations.
Jeffrey began by explaining that he had been working on his project for years, trying to figure out how the Earth came into existence. He knew that if he could solve this problem, he could answer questions about our origins and bring peace to those who had been searching for answers for so long.
Jeffrey went over some of his previous theories, which included interesting ideas about how plate tectonics may have helped form our planet in its current state. He then brought up a new idea: the existence of a third force in planet formation known as “tidal forces.” These forces control how large a planet can become and whether it will be rocky or liquid-like.
Jeans and Jeffrey imagined the Sun as a large body of gas, and in the past, a very big star in the universe came near it, causing a tide in the Sun by its force of attraction. As the star approached the Sun, the height and size of the tides increased. When the star came at least as far from the Sun, a cigar-shaped tide, millions of kilometers long, rose from the gaseous Sun’s shell just below it, as shown in the given figure. The massive star collided with the Sun and some part of that huge star scattered in the sky.
From there, planets were formed. Those that came closer to the Sun could not go far and could not return to the Sun itself. The substance emanating from the tide became the form of a long cigar, which was thick in the middle and thinner on both sides due to the attraction of both powers. This cigar-like substance began revolving around the Sun.
Due to the cooling and shrinkage of this cigar-shaped substance, it became disorganized, and planets were formed. Similarly, satellites were formed due to the coming of different planets near the Sun and due to the separation of tides from them.
According to Jeffrey, the Sun collided with the star coming closer to it, causing some parts of the Sun and the giant star to concentrate in the sky due to the force of attraction, and the planets were formed from these. Jeffrey’s hypothesis contained an error, but he made efforts to correct it.
Evidence in Favor of the Tidal Hypothesis:
- If all the stars in the solar system are placed in a straight line, their arrangement will resemble that of a spindle with the giant planets located in the middle and the smaller ones on either side, except for Mars which falls in the opposite order.
- The number and size of satellites of the different planets support this hypothesis. Minor planets have no satellites. Medium-sized planets have fewer satellites, while larger planets have more.
- The planet named Yama, which was discovered after the tidal hypothesis was proposed, has a size that confirms this hypothesis.
- The arrangement of the satellites also follows the pattern of the solar system. Satellites near planets with many satellites are larger, while those near planets with few satellites are smaller.
- According to this hypothesis, the larger gas planets have many small satellites, while nearby planets have fewer but larger satellites. The terrestrial planets, Mercury and Yama, cooled quickly, preventing the formation of satellites.
- All the planets are tilted due to the Sun’s gravitational attraction, and each planet’s tilt is unique.
Objections Against the Tidal Hypothesis:
- Mars is an exception to the pattern observed in the spindle-shaped arrangement of the solar system.
- What happened to the giant star responsible for the tidal eruption, and why did it get pulled toward the Sun? If it were still alive and able to come close to the Sun, what effect would it have on the Sun?
- The planets formed from the ecliptic of the Sun should be located closer to it, yet we observe that the planets are orbiting at a distance of 500 times the diameter of the Sun, and Varuna is 3,200 times the diameter of the Sun. The theory of Jeans, Kant, and Laplace also fail to explain this phenomenon.