Nice Model

The Nice model (/ˈniːs/ NEESS) is a scenario for the dynamical evolution of the Solar System. It is named for the location of the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, where it was initially developed, in Nice, France. It proposes the migration of the giant planets from an initial compact configuration into their present positions, long after the dissipation of the initial protoplanetary gas disk. In this way, it differs from earlier models of the Solar System's formation. This planetary migration is used in dynamical simulations of the Solar System to explain historical events including the Late Heavy Bombardment of the inner Solar System, the formation of the Oort cloud, and the existence of populations of small Solar System bodies including the Kuiper belt, the Neptune and Jupiter Trojans, and the numerous resonant trans-Neptunian objects dominated by Neptune. Its success at reproducing many of the observed features of the Solar System means that it is presently widely accepted as the current most realistic model of the Solar System's early evolution, though it is not universally favoured among planetary scientists. One of its limitations is reproducing the outer-system satellites and the Kuiper belt (see below).

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