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planetesimal

Line breaks: planet|esi¦mal
Pronunciation: /ˌplanɪˈtɛsɪm(ə)l
 
/
Astronomy

Definition of planetesimal in English:

noun

A minute planet; a body which could come together with many others under gravitation to form a planet.
Example sentences
  • Asteroids are small bodies in space - the numerous leftover planetesimals from which the planets were made nearly 4.6 billion years ago.
  • Although planets, moons and planetesimals may seem to be very different astronomically, their common origin shows that this is not so.
  • As planetesimals grow still larger, their gravitational attraction increases, allowing them to become even more effective at accreting nearby planetesimals.

adjective

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Denoting or relating to planetesimals: the planetesimal material orbiting the sun
More example sentences
  • Models of planetesimal disks suggest that low relative velocities between the bodies produce accretion (objects hit and stay together) rather than fragmentation (objects break up and disperse).
  • His greatest contribution, however, was his planetesimal hypothesis of the origin of the planets.
  • After all, planetesimal sized portions of the Solar System cannot be considered to be orbiting the Earth, except in the obvious case of the Moon.

Origin

early 20th century: from planet, on the pattern of infinitesimal.

Definition of planetesimal in:

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