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How did Earth and other planets form?

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A large planetesimal, about the size of Mars, gave Earth a glancing blow, chucking a chunk of Earth's crust out into space. Some of the planetesimal merged with Earth, while the ejected lump started its own orbit around Earth and became the moon. read more

No planet formed in this area. Astronomers theorize that Jupiter’s gravity influenced this region so much that no large planet could take shape. Jupiter is 11 times the size (in diameter) of Earth and more than twice as big as all the other planets combined. It is almost large enough to have become a star. read more

In this way, asteroids, comets, planets, and moons were created. Earth's rocky core formed first, with heavy elements colliding and binding together. Dense material sank to the center, while the lighter material created the crust. The planet's magnetic field probably formed around this time. read more

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