Our cosmic neighbourhood has so many more secrets for us to reveal

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D1P5RK Solar system, artwork

Science Photo Library/Alamy

ABOUT 4.5 billion years ago, a gigantic cloud of dust and gas floating through space collapsed in on itself, going on to form the sun, the planets and everything else in our solar system. That we are reasonably certain of this fact is a triumph for science, but our cosmic neighbourhood has so many more secrets for us to reveal.

Take what seems like, on face value, a pretty easy question: how did the planets get to where they are today? We know that the most obvious answer, that they formed where they currently sit, is wrong, because the two …

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