Why space dust is key to everything from star birth to life on Earth

    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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