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Studies of planet formation continue to reveal the fine-tuning of the solar system to ensure Earth can support life. During formation of planets, gas giants form before rocky terrestrial planets do. Earlier research showed that gas giants with eccentric orbits prevented the formation of earth-sized, watery planets. Now, a team of international scientists has shown how interactions of gas-giant planets with the disks of debris around their stars cause the eccentricity of the gas giants to grow—even if their orbits were initially circular. One feature of our solar system that remains unique among all known planetary systems is the very circular orbits of multiple gas giants. This circularity ensures the gravitational stability of Earth through time and also provides an environment for Earth’s growth and accumulation of water. Such fine-tuning comports well with the idea of a supernatural Designer fashioning a habitable planet where humans can dwell.
o Gennaro D’Angelo, Stephen H. Lubow, and Matthew R. Bate, “Evolution of Giant Planets in Eccentric Disks,” Astrophysical Journal 652 (2006): 1698-714.
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