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No. 33: May-Jun 1984

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Bad Spin Split

Astronomers have long realized that the angular momentum of the sun is only 1/180th that of the solar system as a whole. The overwhelming majority of the angular momentum is tied up in planetary motion. To make matters even more puzzling, the angular-momentum vectors of the sun and the planetary system are 7� apart. The implication is that the sun and planets could not have been formed by the rapid condensation of a molecular cloud -- the present theory. Rapid condensation requires that the sun get a much bigger share of the angular momentum. These anomalies have led T. Gold to propose a slow-condensation model, in which several hundred million years are required rather than the tens of thousands of years in the current scenario. Another unexpected feature of Gold's model makes the sun a degenerate object, perhaps a neutron star. As the author of this article states:

"Gold has stood the conventional view of the origin of the solar system on its head."

(Maddox, John; "Origin of Solar System Redefined," Nature, 308:223, 1984.)

Reference. The above "spin-split" enigma is discussed more thoroughly in ABB3 in our Catalog: The Sun and Solar System Debris. See description of this book at here.

From Science Frontiers #33, MAY-JUN 1984. � 1984-2000 William R. Corliss