|Stars are born in the dusty gas clouds. Driven by gravity, denser parts of the cloud collapses further to form "cores". The picture shown on the left is a false color HST image of a Galactic nebula called M16.|
|As the gas core collapses on itself due to its own weight, a disk of gas and dust is formed. Gas and dust falls in so quickly with so much energy that sometimes a jet of material is seen being shot out. (Pictures shown on the left are false color HST images of nearby young stellar systems.)|
|Sometimes strong winds and shocks from the nearby young stars can "blow out" the dusty cover of the young solar systems and reveal the remnants of the forming solar system. (Pictures shown on the left are false color HST images of young stellar systems being revealed by the ionizing radiation of the luminous neighboring young stars in Orion Nebula.)|
|When the solar system is finally formed and dust has cleared, remnants of the formation process and outlying material in the solar systems (such as "Kuiper belt objects" and "Oort clouds") can be found surrounding the systems. (Picture shown on the left is a false color image of a dusty disk seen around a nearby star named Fomalhaut, imaged in submm/infrared light at James Clark Maxwell Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.)|
|Remnants of the solar system formation can also be seen in visible or infrared light around some of the nearest stars when the bright light from the central star can be blocked out. (Picture shown on the left is a false color image of a dusty disk (rocks and ice chunks?) seen around a nearby star named beta Pictoris, imaged at European Southern Observatory.)|
Should all planetary systems be like our?
What variations should one expect?