From gas and dust, to all of us
The general idea is simple—a cloud of gas and dust collapses in on itself, driven by gravity, until roughly in the middle of it, our sun began to shine. But the details are somewhat odd, especially when we compare our solar system to what we’re able to observe of planets around other stars. What triggered the original collapse? Why does our sun spin so slowly? Where did the earth’s water come from? How and why did our solar system end up with nice stable, nearly circular orbits that gave life on earth billions of years of relative peace? There’s plenty of room for competing theories and interesting side trips as we take a look at the birth of our sun and planets.
Here are a couple of articles about bacteria that have their own built-in compass.
Here’s a video about how a super nova could have kicked off the birth of our sun.
Here are two articles about the formation of our solar system.
Here’s some information about extra solar planets.