Why do plan­ets or­bit in the same di­rec­tion?

Focus-Science and Technology - - Q & A - VINCE GAETANO, US AGu

This is sim­ply the re­sult of the ini­tial ro­ta­tion of the cloud of gas and dust that con­densed to form the Sun and plan­ets. As grav­ity con­densed this cloud, con­ser­va­tion of an­gu­lar mo­men­tum in­creased the ro­ta­tional speed and flat­tened the cloud out into a disk. Hence, plan­ets that formed within this disk of ma­te­rial all ended up or­bit­ing the Sun in the same di­rec­tion, in al­most the same or­bital plane and with the same spin di­rec­tion (apart from Venus and Uranus which were prob­a­bly hit by other bod­ies, al­ter­ing their spin).

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