What did the Sun look like when it was born?

The Sun is 4.6 billion years old, but what did it look like in its early years?


The Sun would have been surrounded by a protoplanetary disc after it formed. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Asked by Harold Jones

The moment the Sun started fusing and was ‘born’ it probably looked fairly similar to how it looks now. One major difference is that rather than being surrounded by planets the new star would have been surrounded by a disc of dust and gas. We call this a protoplanetary disc, which is the material left over after the star has formed. As the star begins to shine the outburst of energy pushes this disc clear of the centre star. It then usually swirls around the star slowly forming clumps that go on to become planets, asteroids and the other objects we find in other planetary systems.

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