Sol System (DC Comics)

Publication information

Publisher: DC Comics
First appearance: Unknown
Created by: Unknown 

In story information

Official Name: Sol System
Aliases: The Solar System; Ariu (Kryptonian name)
Type: Planetary System


Location Details

Universe: New Earth
Galaxy: Milky Way
Sector: Sector 2814
Star System: Sol

History

The Solar System formed from the gravitational collapse of a giant molecular cloud 4.568 billion years ago.[109] This initial cloud was likely several light-years across and probably birthed several stars.[110]

As the region that would become the Solar System, known as the pre-solar nebula,[111] collapsed, conservation of angular momentum made it rotate faster. The centre, where most of the mass collected, became increasingly hotter than the surrounding disc.[110] As the contracting nebula rotated, it began to flatten into a spinning protoplanetary disc with a diameter of roughly 200 AU[110] and a hot, dense protostar at the centre.[112][113] At this point in its evolution, the Sun is believed to have been a T Tauri star. Studies of T Tauri stars show that they are often accompanied by discs of pre-planetary matter with masses of 0.001–0.1 solar masses, with the vast majority of the mass of the nebula in the star itself.[114] The planets formed by accretion from this disk.[115]

Within 50 million years, the pressure and density of hydrogen in the centre of the protostar became great enough for it to begin thermonuclear fusion.[116] The temperature, reaction rate, pressure, and density increased until hydrostatic equilibrium was achieved, with the thermal energy countering the force of gravitational contraction. At this point the Sun became a full-fledged main-sequence star.[117]

The Solar System as we know it today will last until the Sun begins its evolution off the main sequence of the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram. As the Sun burns through its supply of hydrogen fuel, the energy output supporting the core tends to decrease, causing it to collapse in on itself. This increase in pressure heats the core, so it burns even faster. As a result, the Sun is growing brighter at a rate of roughly ten percent every 1.1 billion years.[118]

Around 5.4 billion years from now, the hydrogen in the core of the Sun will have been entirely converted to helium, ending the main-sequence phase. As the hydrogen reactions shut down, the core will contract further, increasing pressure and temperature, causing fusion to commence via the helium process. Helium in the core burns at a much hotter temperature, and the energy output will be much greater than during the hydrogen process. At this time, the outer layers of the Sun will expand to roughly up to 260 times its current diameter; the Sun will become a red giant. Because of its vastly increased surface area, the surface of the Sun will be considerably cooler than it is on the main sequence (2600 K at the coolest).[119]

Eventually, helium in the core will exhaust itself at a much faster rate than the hydrogen, and the Sun's helium burning phase will be but a fraction of the time compared to the hydrogen burning phase. The Sun is not massive enough to commence fusion of heavier elements, and nuclear reactions in the core will dwindle. Its outer layers will fall away into space, leaving a white dwarf, an extraordinarily dense object, half the original mass of the Sun but only the size of the Earth.[120] The ejected outer layers will form what is known as a planetary nebula, returning some of the material that formed the Sun to the interstellar medium.

Points of Interest

Planets within the Sol system

  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune

Residents


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