Web edition: December 16, 2011
Print edition: December 31, 2011; Vol.180 #14 (p. 4)
EARTH AND PLANETS FORMED FROM DUST DRAWN TO SUN — The Earth and all the other planets of the solar system were formed from tiny dust particles accumulating around the sun as it passed through a vast dust cloud in space. This theory on the origin of the solar system was proposed in London by Prof. R.A. Lyttleton of Cambridge University, Cambridge, England.... The sun must have passed through several hundred if not thousands of dust clouds during its lifetime of several billion years. During one of these encounters, the sun’s speed relative to the cloud must have slowed down to a little more than a mile a second in order to accumulate the necessary amount of dust for later planet formation.