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Protoplanet

From Academic Kids

In cosmogony, a protoplanet is a quasi-planetoid which is slightly larger than a planetesimal and orbits within a solar nebula's protoplanetary discs. Such objects are formed by the accretion of objects (such as dust and planetesimals) within the accretion disc of a solar nebula.

Early protoplanets had more radioactive elements, the quantity of which has been reduced over time due to radioactive decay. Heating due to radioactivity, impact, and gravitational pressure melted parts of protoplanets as they grew toward being planets. In melted zones their heavier elements sank to the center; while lighter elements rose to the surface; such a process is known as planetary differentiation. Composition of some meteorites show that differentiation took place in some asteroids.

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