“Planet formation is a story with a well-known beginning and end, but how its middle plays out has been an enigma to scientists-until now.
“A new computer-modeled theory shows how rocky boulders around infant stars team up to form planets without falling into stars.
“‘This has been a stumbling block for 30 years,’ said Mordecai-Marc Mac Low, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, of planet formation theories. ‘The reason is that boulders tend to fall into the star in a celestial blink of an eye. Some mechanism had to be found to prevent them from being dragged into a star.’
“The solution: Together, many boulders can join to fight a cosmic headwind that otherwise would doom them.”