News From the Field
New Computer Simulations Show How Special the Solar System Is
August 7, 2008
Prevailing theoretical models attempting to explain the formation of the solar system have assumed it to be average. Now, a new study by Northwestern University astronomers--the first to model the formation of planetary systems from beginning to end--illustrates the solar system is pretty special. Their results show that the average planetary system's origin was violent, but that the formation of something like our solar system required conditions to be "just right."
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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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