The earth formed much faster than we thought

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What do scientists know about the formation of the solar system and especially our planet? It is believed that the solar system was formed by gravitationally compressing a gas dust cloud about 4.57 billion years ago, and that the formation of the earth took 10 to 20 billion years. However, researchers at the StarPlan Center for the Formation of Stars and Planets have come to the conclusion that the Earth was formed in only five million years – extremely quickly on an astronomical scale. The results obtained contravene the generally accepted theory that our planet was created by accidental collisions between ever larger planet bodies over several tens of millions of years. The study was published in the journal Science Advances.

Researchers believe that the Earth was created due to the accumulation of tiny cosmic dust particles

Alternative theory

The results of the study confirm a later alternative theory of planet formation through the accumulation of cosmic dust. Yes, in the 21st century we still cannot say for sure how exactly planets form. Scientists believe that very many tiny dust particles stick together to form a whole and gradually form a planet. Then when an object grows, its gravitational force increases, after which the protoplanet begins to attract other celestial objects and bodies. This in turn leads to collisions and an increase in the mass of the protoplanet. This happens until the heavenly body finally becomes a planet.

The researchers are convinced that the fact that the Earth has formed faster than previously thought can tell a lot about how other worlds outside our solar system are formed.

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Iron isotopes

As mentioned above, researchers believed that our planet was tens of millions of years old. Iron isotopes in the Earth's mantle, however, indicate the opposite. The fact is that scientists today have performed the most accurate measurements of iron isotopes and, when examining the isotope mixture of a metal element in various meteorites, found only one type of meteorite material with an earth composition – the so-called CI chondrites. It is also interesting that the composition of CI chondritis is similar to the composition of the entire solar system. The researchers also estimated that the black core of the proto-earth formed over the same period.

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This is what Mars looked like in the distant past.

The fact that the composition of our planet can only be compared to CI chondrites suggests another model of the formation of the earth: tiny particles of cosmic dust allowed the planet to form faster than through the accumulation of larger rocks – ie through constant collisions with other celestial bodies . In just five million years, the nucleus of the planet that absorbed early iron was formed. As the solar system cooled, after the first hundreds of thousands of years, cosmic dust particles could migrate into the system in which the earth was formed.

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This discovery, of course, shows that the planets can be shaped in different ways, which means that outside of the confines of our cosmic home, there can be a multitude of rocky worlds that have formed like our home.