The Solar System — eight planets and a star; our familiar, stable corner of the universe. But how much do we really know about its formation? And is it unique? Recent discoveries are revealing its secrets — a brutal history of colliding planets, some devoured by the sun, whilst future models predict a violent death. Since the first discovery of a planet orbiting another star in 1992, some 280 alien solar systems have been identified. It’s only by looking at solar systems far beyond our own, that we can understand just how remarkable our small patch of universe really is.