The Asteroid Belt

Clearing the Asteroid Belt Clearing the Asteroid Belt

A computer simulation showing
why a planet didn't form in the
asteroid belt. The simulation
begins with 200 protoplanets in
the asteroid belt. Resonances
associated with the giant planets
(shown as green lines) remove
nearby protoplanets.
Gravitational interactions
perturb other protoplanets
into resonances until all are
lost. Planets survive within
2 AU of the Sun where there
are no resonances.


Department of Terrestrial Magnetism
Carnegie Institution of Washington
5241 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015
202.478.8820, 202-478-8821 (fax)