Question Video: Understanding the Effects of a Contracting Nebula Science

The diagram shows the first part of how the solar system formed. A cloud of gas and dust in space. The cloud of gas and dust begins to contract due to gravity. As the cloud of gas and dust contracts, it _ and starts emitting light. Which words would replace the blanks? [A] Heats up [B] Cools down

01:33

Video Transcript

The diagram shows how the first part of the solar system formed. A cloud of gas and dust in space. The cloud of gas and dust begins to contract due to gravity. As the cloud of dust and gas contracts, it blank and starts emitting light. Which words would replace the blanks? (A) Heats up, (B) cools down.

So in this question, we’re thinking about the formation of the solar system, which started out as a cloud of gas and dust in space. The word we use to describe this cloud is a nebula. Over time, this nebula begins to contract due to gravity. As the cloud contracts, the particles of gas and dust move faster and faster, and they collide more often with each other. These collisions cause the temperature and pressure of the cloud to increase. And at the same time, they generate heat and light.

The cloud becomes most dense and hot in its center or core, which is where the Sun will eventually form. We can say that the gravitational potential energy of the nebula gets converted into thermal energy and kinetic energy. And so we know that as the cloud contracts due to gravity, it’s going to heat up and start emitting light. So the answer to this question is (A), heats up. And the full final sentence in this question then reads, “As the cloud of gas and dust contracts, it heats up and starts emitting light.”

Nagwa uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.