Solar system formation. Computer illustration of the primordial nebula (solar nebula) surrounding the newborn Sun (centre). This disc of gas, dust and rock eventually coalesced into planets as it spiralled around the Sun. The Sun was formed as gas coalesced until it was dense and hot enough to begin the nuclear reactions which sustain a star. It is thought the planets formed around 4.6 billion years ago as the solar nebula condensed under the gravitational attraction of individual components.
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