Story of the Earth

Story of the Earth

Formation of the EarthFormation of the Earth Planet Earth is one of eight planets orbiting the Sun, one of billions of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, itself one of billions of galaxies in the Universe. The Universe came into existence 13.7 billion years ago in an incredibly hot, dense explosion called the Big Bang. A few billion years later our Galaxy began to form, but it was not until about 4600 million years ago that the Sun and its family of planets, including the Earth, made their appearance.


The young Earth's changing landscape The young Earth's changing landscape

Formation of the Earth

A swirling disc of gas and dust, called a solar nebula, gradually merged into a dense ball of hot gas: the Sun. Spinning around this central furnace, particles of dust began to clump together, first into small fragments of rock, then large boulders. Over millions of years, some grew into blocks several kilometres across, called planetesimals. These, in turn started to collide with one another, building up like snowballs to become the four rocky inner planets, one of which was the Earth. 

Young Earth

Planet Earth was once a global sea of extremely hot, molten rock.

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