A group of scientists proposes that the main reason why planetary formation stopped in our solar system is because the Sun, as a young star, produced numerous shock waves that destroyed the necessary conditions for the process to continue.
This may explain why objects such as the giant asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres remained at their current size, and did not go on to become the fifth and sixth rocky inner planets, respectively.
The new proposal suggests that Earth, Mars, Venus and Mercury are among the newest planets in the solar system, and that their development began sometime after Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune's.
If true, this idea could be incorporated into models designed to predict where in a new star system an extrasolar planet is most likely to stop developing. This would come in handy, as new worlds are discovered every day, Space