The question of how the earth formed is one that has many scientific and religious answers and is the subject of one of the most controversial debates of all time.
From the scientific viewpoint, the Earth would have had to form about 4.54 billion years since the earliest material in the solar system is dated back to about this time period. It is scientifically accepted that the solar system including the earth was the result of a solar nebula that collapsed from the formation of the sun.
The dust and gas from the solar nebula took about 10-20 million years to form into the earth starting with the molten centre of the Earth which cooled down to form a crust that allowed water to begin to accumulate.
The moon, the main satellite of the Earth is believed to have formed about 4.5 billion years ago when an object that roughly was the size of Mars collided with the Earth causing a significant blow to the Earth. It is theorized that some of the mass became Earth and the remaining chunk begin to orbit the Earth in what is now known as the moon.
The atmosphere of the earth is thought to have formed from volcanic activity and escaping gassing. The oceans on the earth were produced by water vapour from asteroids and other planets that may have collided with the earth. Due to the greenhouse gases that exist in the atmosphere and solar activity around the earth the surface temperature of the earth remains high so that the oceans do not freeze up.
Life on earth is scientifically attributed to evolution. There have been five mass extinctions as defined by scientist with the last extinction destroying dinosaurs and other large reptiles but allowing some mammals to survive. According to the theory of evolution over 65 million years ago mammals begin to adapt to their surroundings until eventually humans were formed.
If Earth follows the same pattern of life that exists in the rest of the solar system in about 900 million years the oxygen on the earth will become too toxic for plants, water will disappear a few billion years later, and the average temperature of the earth will reach 70C.
It is estimated that the Earth can remain host to human life for about 500 million more years a figure that can be extended for an additional 2.3 billion years if nitrogen was removed from the Earth’s atmosphere.
- Common Questions
- Are there any planets still to be found?
- Do any planets have any living things?
- Do any planets have water on them?
- Near Miss Asteroids – Example of 2012DA14
- The Apollo 11 Expedition
- What different elements are the planets made of?
- What is a space rocket made of?
- What is the most interesting planet?
- What order do the planets go in?
- Which is the newest planet?
- Which is the oldest planet?
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- How did the Earth form?
- The Planets
- The Solar System