This video provides you with a six minute briefing on the formation of the solar system, including visual detail. It explains how the early building blocks of the solar system and Earth take us back 4 and a half billion years, where we originated in a vast cloud of hydrogen helium and dust. The video includes a perspective on the asteroid Bennu, which kickstarts the video and the formation of the solar system.

Why watch this video?

  1. Have you ever wondered what kickstarted the formation of the solar system?
  2. Would you like to know how old the Earth is and the systems within it?
  3. Have you ever been confused by the processes within the solar system, and how they came to be?

Key terms

Bennu: A carbonaceous asteroid in the Apollo group discovered by the Linear Project.

Supernova: a star that suddenly increases greatly in brightness because of a catastrophic explosion that ejects most of its mass.

Asteroid: A small rocky body greater than 1 m in diameter that orbits the sun.

Loose ends

  • The Milky Way is mentioned at the beginning of the video but they do not go into much detail about how it is relevant. The Milky Way is a galaxy that contains our solar system, and the term “milky” is coined from the way the stars look in the night sky that cannot be distinguished individually. The Milky Way is also known to have around 200 billion stars.
  • The sun is a point of conversation throughout the video, although they do not discuss in detail the steps in which it was formed. It was born about 4.5 billion years ago from a giant rotating cloud of gas and dust known as the solar nebula. As the nebula collapsed due to gravity, the disk flattened and most of the material was pulled toward the centre, finally forming the sun.
  • Throughout the video the term protoplanet is often used when describing the early formation of the solar system. A protoplanet is a body of matter in orbit around the sun or a star that is though to be developing into a planet. This idea is also supported by the view that the moon originated from a collision from the Earth and another protoplanet.

Self-Test Questions

Shared by: Hunter Pickering and The Editor

Item Credit: Youtube

Reuse License: YouTube Standard License

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