Solar system formation

Solar system formation

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Solar system formation. Artwork of rocks found in the protoplanetary disc of the newly-formed Sun in the early solar system. It is thought that the Sun (centre left) formed from a collapsing nebula around 4.6 billion years ago. The remaining dust and gas formed a rotating disc surrounding the newly-formed Sun. Slow gravitational attraction (accretion) of small particles formed these rocky asteroids (planetesimals). They in turn clumped together to form Earth-like planets or remained scattered like the present-day asteroid belt. The present-day asteroid belt is much more spread out, with average separations of 6 million kilometres.

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Keywords: artwork, asteroid, asteroids, astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, creation, disc, early, formation, history, illustration, many, multiple, planet, planetary, planetisimal, planetisimals, planets, primordial, protoplanetary, rock, rocks, rocky, science, solar system, space, sun, terrestrial, universe

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