The birth of stars and planets

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The birth of stars and planets

Like the giant galaxies in which they appear, stars and their planets form when clumps of gas and dust contract to much smaller sizes.  The contraction is due to forces of gravity that pulls together the large interstellar gas clouds.  The birth of stars and planets. The clouds are composed of about three quarter hydrogen and one quarter of helium. About 2 per cent of the cloud is made up of heavier elements. The same composition translates to stars, i.e. three quarter hydrogen, one quarter helium and about 2 percent heavy elements.

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The birth of stars and planets.

The birth of stars and planets

As they continue growing and increasing their gravity, they are able to pull even the gaseous elements, hydrogen and helium further making them bigger. They are often named Jovian planets or the ‘Jupiter-like”. The attracted gas forms a replica of another rotating disk.  The rotation may cause a similar process leading to the formation of moons. The presence of a small spinning disk leads to more formation of moons and this is why the outer planets have many moons. The birth of stars and planets.


Bally, J. & Reipurth, B. (2006). The birth of stars and planets. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Scowen, P. et al (2010). From protostars to planetary systems: FUV spectroscopy of YSOs, protoplanetary disks, and extra solar giant planets. Retrieved on Dec 10, 2011 from