The Super Earths
01- K-11
02- Migrating Worlds
03- Gliese 581
04- Goldilocks
05- 51 Pegasi
06- Doppler Effect
07- Rhythmic Shift
08- Eccentric Giants
09- Transitters
10- Mu Arae
11- Intermediate World
12- Worlds Observed
13- Extra Solar Earths
14- Migrant Worlds
15- Accretion
16- Core Accretion
17- Disk Erosion
18- Planetary Embryos
19- The Protected Zone
20- Ecosphere
21- Ecosphere II
22- Beta Pictoris
23- Vanquishing Starlight
24- Red Edge / Earth Shine
25- Distant Continents
26- The Age of Stars

20 - Ecosphere

Click here for enlarged diagram


In the early stages of a solar system these large, baby worlds, would clear the way for Earths, by cleaning up the Ecosphere. An early newborn giant carves a gap in the disk of gas and dust swirling around a young star. The planet begins its life cycle as a small rocky sphere which acts as a core around which its gravity pulls in gas and rubble to form the gas shroud around it. Each successive gas planet to form is more condensed and smaller, as the gaseous material is gathered up first, hence the progression from HD 209458 to Gliese 876. As they move outwards each successive Roaster, or Eccentric Giant, is replaced by the next in line, and so they change lanes, like the needle on the groove of a gramophone record.

The amount of dust and rocky material in the disk in the early stages would threaten the survival of rock planets within that belt. But as each successive gas planet absorbs and clears more dust and debris within that gap the conditions become more stable and conducive to the survival of rocky planets. With less dust and rocky debris in the disk and within the Ecosphere, there is no material to collect as a gassy shroud around the rock core. The planet remains clean in its rock core state.

A more specific, labelled timeline of this sequence will be available in the 'Timeline' section of this site in future drafts.

This overall idea of course raises the questions; ‘Where do they come from in the first place, to begin their outward trajectory from a close orbit?' and ‘How can their orbits change?’ This second question is related to an impact suggested by my Pre-Cambrian shield reconstruction in 'The Visible Earths' ( see: 'Shield Re-Assembly' ).

These questions will be addressed in future drafts, in the sections; 'SOL' and 'The Invisible Earths' and listed on upcoming E7 questions.

  Alan Lambert 2011