Exoplanets pp 191-202 | Cite as

Exoplanets and Exoplanetary Systems: Pasts and Futures

  • Chris Kitchin
Part of the Astronomers' Universe book series (ASTRONOM)


There are still some uncertainties over the details of how planets, brown dwarfs and stars come into being. The basic process however is clear – a diffuse cloud of gas and dust in inter-stellar space whose mass can range from one to ten million solar masses and whose diameter can range from a light year to hundreds of light years collapses under its own gravitational pull and ends up as one, a few, hundreds or thousands of smaller objects whose masses range from a tiny fraction to a 100 or so times that of the Sun. The smaller objects have densities ranging from a tenth to ten times that of water – a factor of some 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 (1020) or so times denser than the original inter-stellar cloud.


White Dwarf Solar Mass Host Star Diffuse Cloud Orion Nebula 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Kitchin
    • 1
  1. 1.EssexUK

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