This is a drawing showing the forming solar system.
Click on image for full size
How the Solar System may have formed from a spinning cloud
Scientists think that the solar system formed out of a spinning cloud of hydrogen and helium molecules.
Because the cloud was spinning, it flattened into a frisbee shape, just like a ball of pizza dough becomes flat when a chef spins it in the air. The planets and the sun started to form after the cloud became a flat disc.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
As shown in this picture, while they were forming in the solar nebula, the core of the planets-to-be drew material to themselves from the cloud of gas and dust around them. The bigger planets-to-be were...more
The position of the planets in the solar nebula affected how big they became and what they were made of. The blue line in the picture shows where it became so cold that ice began to form. Planets that...more
Titan is like other icy moons. Scientists want to know "how come Titan is the only one that has a big atmosphere?" Titan formed the same way other planets did, as shown in this picture. Where Titan formed,...more
The most important motions in the atmosphere are winds. The major winds in Saturn's atmosphere are the zonal winds which are made of zones and belts. Zones and belts blow in opposite directions around...more
The clouds on Saturn, like Jupiter, are divided into stripes called "belts and zones". In a belt, very powerful winds blow one way. In a zone, very powerful winds blow the other way. These kinds of winds...more
Astronomers have discovered a strange shape in Saturn's atmosphere. The shape is a hexagon. The hexagon is near Saturn's North Pole. Scientists aren't quite sure why Saturn has the hexagon shape in its...more
If you wanted to go someplace warm for a vacation, would you choose the South Pole? If you lived on Saturn you might! Saturn's South Pole is the warmest place on the ringed planet. Watch out for the weather,...more