The Formation of Stars and Planets
The formation of stars and planets was until recently shrouded in dust, both literally and metaphorically. The basic underlying principle had been understood for over two centuries, having been proposed by the French mathematician Pierre Simon-Laplace and the Dutch philosopher Emmanuel Kant. The proposition was that stars were born from clouds of gas and dust, called nebulae. These beautiful sculptures dot our galaxy and the majority of others. However, such material is opaque to visible radiation.