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University of Oklahoma Astrophysics Team Explains Mars’ Stunted Growth

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Space is hiding millions of secrets behind its evolution. Many research teams are engaged in studying Mars and understanding the journey of its formation. The latest study report published by the University of Oklahoma explains the reason why Mars is small, barren, and uninhabitable.

The OU study is based on the widely accepted Nice Model, which appeals to planetary instability in order to explain many peculiar observed aspects of the outer solar system. The OU model uses computer simulations to demonstrate planet accretion halted by the outer solar system instability.

The OU College of Arts and Science stated, “The particular dynamics of instability between the giant planets kept Mars from growing to an Earth-like planet.” The research team used computing resources provided by OU Supercomputing Center for Education and Research, and the Blue Waters sustained petascale computing project to perform 800 computer simulations of this scenario.

Recent geological data reveal that Mars’ formation period was 10 times shorter than Earth’s. When this thing is considered, it can further be stated that Mars must have been left behind as a stranded planetary embryo at the formation of the Sun’s inner planets.

The early planet instability modeled in this study provides the natural explanation of how Mars emerged through the process of planet formation as a stranded embryo.


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