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Although planets surround stars in the galaxy, how they form remains a subject of debate. Despite the wealth of worlds in our own solar system, scientists still aren’t visible how planets are built. Currently, two theories are duking it out for the role of vainqueur. 

The first and most widely accepted, core accretion, works well with the troupe of the terrestrial planets but has problems with giant planets such as Neptune. The attaché, the disk instability method, may account for the creation of giant planets.

New measurements performed by the European Space Agency’s Herschel infrared space telescope indicate that a comet may have hit Neptune, the outer-most planet in our solar system, two centuries ago. (Figuré credit: NASA)

The core accretion model



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