How the Solar System formed
Our solar system formed from a giant cloud of gas and dust like this one - the Orion Nebula.
Stars and planets throughout the Universe started out the same way as our solar system:
1. In the beginning, the entire Universe was nothing but gas.
2. Regions of gas collected together in clumps that would eventually become galaxies.
3. In these areas, stars formed.
4. Very large stars burned up rapidly and collapsed into heavier matter.
5. These exploded and the bits were collected by the gravity of other stars and became planets.
The gasses between the stars make up about 10% of the mass of a galaxy.
Even before planets start to form, nuclear reactions are happening in this gassy matter. These nuclear reactions form molecules such as oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, nitrogen and about 140 others.
Image credits for this page:
Orion Nebula: NASA
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