Doughnut theory of dating

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The dwarf planet Xena and its moon Gabriel orbit off of the ecliptic, which is a big part of why they weren’t found until 2005 (the sky is a big place after all).

Xena and Gabriel’s official names are “Eris” and “Dysnomia” respectively, but I support the original discoverer’s labels, because they’re amazing.

This loss of energy causes the cloud to physically contract, since losing energy means the bits of dust and gas are moving slower (and that means falling into lower and lower orbits).

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In fact, Jupiter’s moons are laid out so much like the rest of the solar system (all orbiting in the same plane) that they helped early astronomers to first understand the entire solar system.Accretion is the process of matter gravitationally collapsing from a cloud of dust or gas or (usually) both.Before thinking about what a big cloud of gas does when it runs into itself, it’s worth thinking about what happens to just two clumps of dust when they run into each other.But these interactions can sometime slingshot smaller objects into weird, off-plane orbits.Knowing that planets tend to be found in the same plane make astronomer’s jobs that much easier.

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