MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Early Earth. Computer illustration of meteorites falling on a young Earth during its formation. Bright explosions on the surface of the Moon show a similar process is taking place there. The Moon appears much larger in the sky as it was nearer to Earth at this time. The meteorites on Earth have bright tracks caused by them partly burning up in Earth's primitive atmosphere. The Earth is thought to have formed around 4.6 billion years ago from the accretion of rocks and dust. The Moon is though to have coalesced from the debris of a collision between the young Earth and a similar but smaller body.
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