GARY TONGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARY TONGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Stellar system formation. Illustration of orbiting ice and dust during the formation of a solar system around a new star. As new stars form from clouds (nebulae) of gas and dust, the remaining material forms a rotating disc surrounding the new star. Over time, gravitational attraction (accretion) within the protoplanetary disc forms clumps of rock and ice of increasing size ranging from asteroids (planetesimals) to much larger spherical bodies (planets).
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