CHRIS BUTLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BUTLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Primeval Earth. Artwork of the surface of the Earth early in its history. The hot pool in the foreground is similar to those believed to have been necessary for the origin of life. Two meteors are seen streaking through the sky at upper right. Meteors and meteorite impacts were far more common in the early years of Earth's life. The Solar System was still young, and countless millions of dust and rock particles remained from the formation of the planets. The crust of the Earth was forming, and active volcanoes were far more common. These added valuable chemicals to the environment. The moon is large in the sky at upper right. At this time, it was closer than it is now.
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