Geology And Geophysics

How Planet Earth was Formed



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After the Big Bang, many areas of dust and particles came together to what we now know as galaxies, which held solar systems, and one of those held Earth. The Earth itself was formed around 4.6 billion years ago, ten million years after the formation of the Sun. It was formed from the same cloud of dust and gas as the Sun and all the other bodies in what we now know as the solar system. However, the formation of Earth was not completed then, and we are still going through it with volcanoes, plates moving, and the possibilities of planetary bodies hitting the Earth.

After the formation of the Earth began, a large body the size of Mars named Theia struck Earth and formed what we now know as the Moon. As well as forming the moon, some of this body's mass combined with the Earth. This shattered Earth for millions of years, but the pull of rotations around the Sun allowed it to settle down into the globe-shaped body we all live on now.

About 4 billion years ago, the Earth was not suitable for any form of life. The sun's deadly ultraviolet rays of light killed any chance of having life, as they were not blocked by the atmosphere we know today, as it did not exist at the time. The center of the Earth was molten and was a liquid, and volcanoes erupted constantly as there was extreme pressure under the Earth.

About a billion years ago, the world has begun to cool and settle down. Temperatures worldwide have plummeted and began to come close to being able to sustaining life. The oceans now form, as it is cool enough for the water to settle in its liquid form. The atmosphere begins to form and protects the Earth from the Sun's ultraviolet rays. The land begins to drift and form continents. It is around this time that the first life forms, plants and green algae.

400 million years ago, lifeforms begin to develop worldwide as the potential for life is reached. The trees and plants that first settle provide the oxygen for other lifeforms to survive on land. It is around this time that dinosaurs take over the planet along with fish and insects.

In modern times, the world is still settling with erosion, moving plates, and volcanic eruptions. However, we could be wiped off the face of the Earth, along with other lifeforms, and then the planet will be reborn again.

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