Illustration of a brown dwarf surrounded by a swirling disc of planet-building dust


The following is an extract from our monthly Launchpad newsletter, in which resident space expert Leah Crane journeys through the solar system and beyond. You can sign up for Launchpad for free here.

Let’s start at the beginning. For about a hundred million years after the big bang, there were no solids – no dust. First there was just boiling hot plasma, and then as it cooled, only hot gas. The universe went on expanding…

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