38.5 MB (3.7 MB compressed)
3199 x 4203 pixels
27.2 x 35.6 cm ⏐ 10.7 x 14.0 in (300dpi)
DR SETH SHOSTAK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR SETH SHOSTAK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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 mainly formed by hydrogen, helium and dust grains. The contraction may be triggered by shock waves from a nearby supernova explosion or simply by the mutual gravitational attraction of the contents of the nebula. The central part of the nebula collapses into a protostar. Collisions between dust grains in the outer regions of the nebula lead to the formation of small bodies (few kilometres across), which then by accretion will develop into planets.
Model release not required. Property release not required.