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This is a schematic showing the forming solar system.
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C. Alexander

How the Solar System may have formed from a spinning cloud

Scientists think that the solar system formed out of a cloud of hydrogen and helium molecules, which was spinning.

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 of gas became a flat disk.


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Why Uranus looks like a "bullseye"

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF