solar nebula
  • The cloud of dust and gas from which the solar system is believed to have condensed, mainly by gravitational attraction. Studies of the origin of the solar system and the evolution of the solar nebula suggest that the solar system did not simply condense from a homogeneous cloud. Instead, there seem to have been areas of varying composition to account for detailed differences between the atomic composition of the Sun, the Earth, the other planets, meteorites and other solar system objects.

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