LYNETTE COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LYNETTE COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Alien planet formation. Artwork of a disc of dust around a young star showing the formation of a new planet (lower right). In upper frame are clouds of dust and gas which are forming new stars. Planets are thought to form from discs of gas and dust left over from the formation of a central star. The planet has swept out a trail through the disc of dust (or solar nebula). Numerous small bodies are seen in the disc, some of which are approaching the growing planet. Two bodies are colliding explosively at lower left (orange). It is thought the Solar System formed from a similar disc to this, and examples have been found around other stars, notably Beta Pictoris.
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