Nebular Theory of Solar System Formation, Essay Example

Nebular theory of solar system

The Nebular hypothesis was developed by Swedenborg, Kant and Laplace in the 18th Century.  The authors put forward the view varying gaseous cloud formations slowly flatten, collapse and ultimately form planets. It is this nebulae or gaseous formation acting with gravity that forms planets and star systems. It was in the early 20th century that this theoretical understanding was challenged by the scientific community. This resulted in new theories put forward by the likes of Victor Safronof a Russian astronomer.

Nebular Hypothesis: It was the theoretical model based upon our solar system being created some 4.5 billion years ago.  It was the result of the formation of a large gaseous cloud and its subsequent collapse; the mass collecting and forming in our sun. This was ejected by the sun in order to form the solar system that we know today. This accounted for all the objects within our solar system like that of planets, moons, asteroids and other bodies within our solar system.  This remained the accepted theory until around the 1950’s when this became challenged by other scientists.

This theory does go towards explaining the structure of the present day system.  We have a sun at the centre of our solar system and indeed this influences the gravitational field around it. We have a string of planets that orbit our sun. Some of which benefit from the solar radiation that is bestowed upon it. Equally we have large debris fields like that of the asteroid belt and many moons that orbit the planets within our planetary system. So there is some alignments between the early theoretical propositions put forward by the likes of Swedenborg and Kant et al.  (Eric J. Chaisson, 2012)


Eric J. Chaisson, S. M. (2012). Astronomy: A beginners guide. New York: Pearson Education.