|Formation of the Earth|
the beginning there is only a super-massive gaseous point in our empty universe.
Instantaneously and randomly, enough energy is created to break the
gravitational bond holding this massive body together, exploding the
super-heated particles throughout space. In less than one millionth of a second,
protons, neutrons, electrons, and their anti-particles begin to form.
As time moves on, particles begin to cool by giving off energy, which allows them to combine to create the first and most simple ion, hydrogen, as well as a few more massive atoms.
More time passes; the atoms are becoming more abundant in the universe. They begin to pull together through atomic forces and the gravitational force. Gaseous bodies become more massive, attracting more atoms and becoming more massive. The gravitational force of these early bodies are so great that they collapse in on themselves, beginning fusion.
Hydrogen atoms combine, yielding larger atoms and enormous amounts of energy; enough energy to keep these stars from collapsing. Eventually, the fusion process has to end and the star will explode, sending out more massive atoms into the universe.
Over time, these atoms collect and combine to create planets, smaller stars, asteroids, and numerous other solid bodies.
Formation of the Milky Way Galaxy
It is hypothesized that early in the life of our universe, as matter was quickly expanding outwards, clusters of gigantic amounts of matter began orbiting around a common center of mass. These became early galaxies, which would grow in size from such things as collisions with other galaxies. The spiral Milky Way Galaxy is just one of an unknown number of galaxies in the universe, so not at all totally unique.
Formation of Solar System
As matter began to condense and stars began to form, one such star appeared where the Sun now appears within the Milky Way Galaxy. After igniting with fusion and burning its usable hydrogen and other larger elements, the star exploded, sending matter out in all directions. Once again, through gravitational forces, this matter eventually cooled and collected in a few key areas, forming the planets and the asteroid belt. The asteroid belt is simply an early form of the collection of matter that was not able to completely form a planet due to Jupiter's gravity. Some early planets may have collided with other early planets, creating larger planets, moons, or possibly space rocks. In the meantime, a smaller star began to form at the center of the previous explosion and our Sun started its fusion process again.
Formation of the Earth
The Earth was one of the
planets formed from the collapse of the first star. However, it is unique in
many ways. It is the only planet with visible surface water, which is explained
by the precise temperature and atmospheric pressure the Earth maintains. Seasons,
though mild near the equator, are caused because the Earth's axis is tilted
approximately 23 degrees. Earth's atmosphere is also unique, in that it contains
oxygen, which is essential for life. At one time, a large asteroid may have
collided with the planet, breaking off a large piece of it, which would
eventually become our Moon. However, many questions still go unanswered about
the formation of the Earth and how its processes began.
Questions about the
beginning of the universe are obviously brought up when discussing it. How can a
sphere of infinite mass, and therefore infinite gravity, explode? Is there
enough energy to keep the universe expanding? Or will it eventually cave back in
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