A lot of what scientists based their predictions on is hypothesis, but by looking at pictures taken by satellites and telescopes we can see other solar systems and galaxies forming or dissipating. With these pictures the scientific community can guess how our solar system was formed and in turn how the planets, moon and our sun came to be.
We have a pretty good idea of how earth was formed, because we have a pretty good idea of how most planets and stars are formed. Enormous clouds of gas and dust spiral through space. At some point, the force of gravity causes matter within these clouds to become more tightly knit, forming very hot, spherical shapes of radioactive material. This is called “accretion,” and the spherical product becomes a star, if it is large enough. The sun is the beginning of a solar system, and the cloud of dust and gas surrounding the sun eventually forms planets, using the same process of “accretion.” Sometimes planets formed in other clouds are caught in a star’s gravitational pull, but this is less common. This entire idea of planet formation is sometimes called the “Protoplanet hypothesis.”
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