By James Croll
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Extra info for Stellar Evolution: And Its Relations To Geological Time
Comets, in all probability, have the same origin as meteorites. The materials composing them, like those of the meteorites, were probably projected from nebulæ by the expulsive force of the heat of concussion which produced the nebulæ. Some of them, especially those with elliptic orbits, may have possibly been projected from the solar nebula. V. Nebulæ.  1. —We have already seen that the theory affords a rational account of the origin of nebulæ. 2. —It accounts for the enormous space occupied by nebulæ.
The time of flying out would probably be less than half a year, when the fluid mass must begin to fall in again towards the axis. In something less than a year after the first collision the fluid will again be in a state of maximum crowding round the centre, and this time probably even more violently agitated than it was immediately after the first collision; and it will again fly outward, but this time axially towards the places whence the two globes fell. ” Sir William admits, of course, my supposition to be quite a possible one, but rejects it on the supposed ground of its improbability.
But how is such motion to be arrested? How are bodies as large as our earth, moving at the rate of hundreds of miles per second, to have their motion stopped? According to the theory this is effected by collision: by employing the motion of the one body to arrest that of the other. Take the case of the formation of our sun according to the theory. Suppose two bodies, each one-half of the mass of the sun, moving directly towards each other with a velocity of 476 miles per second. These bodies would, in virtue of that velocity, possess 4149 × 1038 foot-pounds of energy, which is equal to 100,000,000,000 foot-pounds per pound of the mass; and this, converted into heat by the stoppage of their motions, would suffice to maintain, as was previously stated, the present rate of the sun’s radiation for a period of 50,000,000 years.
Stellar Evolution: And Its Relations To Geological Time by James Croll