RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Formation of the Moon. Image 3 of 4. Artwork of the third 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 collided with the Earth around 4.6 billion years ago, soon after they both formed. Material from the outer layers of both bodies was thrown into orbit around the Earth, forming a ring (shown here). This then coalesced to form the Moon (far right). For the whole sequence, see images R340/853 to R340/856.
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