As if I'd know an erg if one bit me on the butt, of course - but this is fairly unique scientific writing:
As the planets tugged on the rubble, the rubble tugged back, and that nudged Uranus, Neptune and Saturn outward from the sun and Jupiter inward, as previous research has suggested. That in turn affected how long each planet took to complete an orbit of the sun, since a wider orbit takes longer. At some point, Saturn started taking exactly twice as long as Jupiter to complete a lap.
Then all hell broke loose.
Because of their tugs on each other, Jupiter and Saturn began to leave circular orbits and follow more oval-shaped paths similar to what's observed today. That wreaked gravitational havoc on the much less massive Uranus and Neptune, making their orbits "totally nuts," Levison said. It sent the two planets outward and into the ring of planetary rubble which, as Levison put it, went "kaplooey."
On the other hand, my fiancee just pointed out more
scientists should sound like this when talking to the public, instead of using
too-long words and sounding deathly dull in the process. There is logic
in this observation.
On the gripping hand, Bill Watterson probably loved it, wherever he is.