Fire: Formation of Earth and the Solar System

  • Les Johnson
  • Gregory L. Matloff
  • C Bangs


In the beginning, a cloud composed mainly of hydrogen and helium gas drifted through the interstellar void. Near or within this immense nebula (it must have been trillions of miles across), a bright star blazed. Much larger and more massive than our present-day sun, this nameless star approached the end of its life cycle about 5 billion years ago. As its nuclear fires waned, it began to collapse. As it collapsed, temperature and density near its core increased dramatically.


Life Cycle Nature Conservation Solar System Aerospace Technology Bright Star 
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Further Reading

  1. Solar-system data are available from a wide variety of sources. One of our favorites is K. Lodders and B. Fegley, Jr., The Planetary Scientists’ Companion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  2. Is Pluto a major planet or not? The popular astronomy press has done a good job of covering this debate. See, for example, F. Reddy, “Top 10 Astronomy Stories of 2006,” Astronomy, 2006;35(1):34–43.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MadisonUSA
  2. 2.BrooklynUSA

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