CHRIS BUTLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BUTLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Solar system formation. Artwork representing the formation of a planetary system around a star, based upon the nebular hypothesis. According to this model a solar system derives from the contraction of a rotating disc-shaped nebula consisting of hydrogen, helium and dust particles. The contraction may be triggered by shock waves from a nearby supernova explosion or by the mutual gravitational attraction of the contents of the nebula. The central part of the nebula collapses into a protostar (lower right). Collisions between dust grains in the outer regions of the nebula lead to the formation of bodies that develop into planets by accretion.
Model release not required. Property release not required.