RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Formation of the Moon. Image 2 of 4. Artwork of the second stage in a sequence showing the giant impact theory of the formation of the Moon. This theory says that an object about the size of Mars (top) collided with the Earth (bottom) around 4.6 billion years ago, soon after they both formed. The impact was side-on, rather than a direct impact. Material from the outer layers of both bodies was thrown into orbit around the Earth, forming a ring. This then coalesced to form the Moon. For the whole sequence, see images R340/853 to R340/856.
Model release not required. Property release not required.