This book traces the development of ideas about the origin of the Solar System from ancient times to the present day. A survey of more modern ideas, covering the last 200 years or so, highlights the difficulties experienced by theories and also points the way towards the development of a more successful theory. In particular, the current “standard model” — the Solar Nebula Theory — is examined and discussed in some detail. After more than thirty years of development, this theory has still not settled down into an agreed form, as it experiences both theoretical difficulties and problems with reconciling new observations. By contrast, the Capture Theory, developed over the last forty years by the author, and supported by recent observations provides a complete description of the formation of the Solar System, including an evolutionary hypothesis that explains the detailed structure of the system. Written in an informative yet accessible manner, this book will appeal to both specialist and non-specialist readers alike.

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