DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Star system evolution. Artwork of three stages in the evolution of a typical solar system. At top left is a young star with a powerful solar wind blowing away the dust and gas from which the planets formed. At centre right is a middle-aged star system, similar to ours as it is now. At lower left, the star has evolved further into a red giant. This stage occurs when the star is running out of fuel, and as it expands, it engulfs the nearer planets, and scorches those further out. The model of the young star is based on observations of the Tau Tauri system, in the constellation Taurus, in which a very young star is "blowing" dust and gas into interstellar space.
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