Occurrence, detection and origin of planetary systems
Smith, Bruce James, 1946-
Low, Frank J.
Master of Science
The rotational angular momentum of an asteroid or planet and the average orbital angular momentum of binary stars for a given mass is known to be proportional to the 5/3 power of the mass of the body or system in question. The average rotational angular momenta for given masses of single stars do not follow this law. It is shown that single stars would follow this law if correction were made for the angular momentum which lies hidden in their planetary systems. This corrective factor leads to the conclusion that the amount of angular momentum which exists in the planetary systems is on the average proportional to the mass of the star. The infrared spectra of two stars, R Monocerotis and NML Cygnus is interpreted, as being due to preplanetar nebulas which surround the stars and convert most of the visible light into thermally radiated infrared emission. In the case of R Mon, the shape of the spectra is analyzed to determine the mass density distribution of the preplanetary nebula. It is shown that the density falls off as the inverse 1/-I- power of the distance from the star and that the maximum temperature which the preplanetary grains can withstand is 2400°K. A theory of the origin of the solar system is presented which is consistent with the information developed in the angular momentum and. the R Mon analysis. It is shown that the sun is braked from a large original rotational angular momentum to its present small value. This braking is caused by magnetic interaction between the sun and the preplanetary nebula which causes the nebula to either co-rotate or partially co-rotate with the sun. Planets are shown to have been braked by the same type of magnetic torque that was applied to the sun. Both component stars of a binary star system are shown to have a common origin. The average eccentricity of a binary star is 0.6. This is given as evidence that binary stars were formed by neither free fall collapse nor a slow agglomeration process but by a process intermediate between these two. As the stars contract, they transfer angular momentum by magnetic torque to the surrounding nebula. The observed small ratio of rotational angular momentum to orbital angular momentum is shown to be a consequence of the inability of stars to carry a large rotational angular momentum and the, therefore, necessary occurrence of extensive planetary systems.