Solar Nebula Theory

By Mitchell Bell

What is the Solar Nebula Theory?

The Solar Nebula Theory is a theory about how the solar system was created. The Solar Nebula Theory is the most accepted theory for how our solar system was created, but is now also believed to be true for the rest of the solar systems in the universe.

The theory states that stars are formed in massive clouds of energy in space when they collapse. Under the right conditions, rocky planets may form near the stars. The process involves grains of dust colliding together, creating larger clumps which in turn also collide together, the cycle repeating until the planets are formed in their stable orbits around the star.

Who discovered this Solar Nebula Theory?

In 1755, Immanuel Kant wrote a book, the Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens, in which he talked about his Solar Nebular theory and how the solar system formed from a large gas cloud called a nebula, and how other systems across the universe may have formed from similar nebulae.

A nebula forming a star and the surrounding dust cloud

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An initial phase of the planet forming. The young star is in the middle, with the colliding dust spinning around in the surrounding cloud. Sizeable chunks can be seen in the cloud, collecting more matter and growing larger.