MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Planetary formation. Computer artwork of two protoplanets colliding in the early history of the solar system. The planets formed soon after the Sun, about 4.6 billion years ago. The rocky inner planets formed during a chaotic period when many protoplanets formed and collided with each other. Eventually, four planets (Mars, Earth, Venus and Mercury) survived, along with numerous asteroids. These protoplanets will be shattered and turned molten by this impact, but a larger protoplanet should coalesce from the ruins.
Model release not required. Property release not required.