Theories on how Earth came to be

Tyler Moseberry, Courier Staff

What we fear coming into contact with the Earth today may actually be the thing that gave us life. That is what some scientists believe and they have some interesting theories to back it up. When claiming something so bold, some type of research or evidence must be brought in, which is what we will dive into.

Our solar system began with a solar nebula. The nebula gave birth to our sun by the process of gravity and high temperatures. During the creation of the sun and other celestial bodies, elements like hydrogen and helium were scattered far out into our solar system while the heavier elements stayed closer to the sun. These heavier elements would then begin to collect together like dust balls.

During this collection period of the solar system, collisions happened nonstop and huge masses of rock began to form. As time passed, the conglomerate of rock became extremely massive, but not planets yet. Some masses of spheres were extremely large but could only be deemed planetesimals.

Planetesimals would sometimes gravitate too close to one another. Another suggestion is that the Earth had collided with another planetesimal and the debris of the collision slowly gravitated around the Earth, creating the moon. This is another theory that scientists are trying to prove with studies and research.

Once the Earth became the size that it is today, it still had to endure another 100 million years of comet and asteroid impacts. During this time, it would have been very likely for icy comets to deliver water to Earth. The theory is that ice comets on a collision course with Earth evaporate in the Earth’s atmosphere. This evaporation created storm clouds over vast areas of the planet. Those clouds would then have created a deluge of hot acidic rain that would continue for years.

Water can contain another element, HDO, or heavy water, which contains another neutron. Comets have an extremely high amount of HDO while the Earth’s oceans do not have as much. Currently, scientists study comets by using spectroscopy. Measuring comets through spectroscopy requires scientists to analyze images of the comet and measure the light that the comet reflects. Analyzing the comets tells the scientists the properties of individual comets, which helps them understand the structures.

Many times it seems as though the answer is right in front of us, which is why we cling on to ideas if they sound good. Upon further investigation, we typically find that there is always more to the bigger picture. Regardless of how good something may sound or how well it works in a model, there is always an exception or deeper understanding that can be found.

Similar to other theories of our Earth or the universe as a whole, it is incomplete or in progress. There is rarely a concrete answer in the universe because the expansion of the universe creates more problems than we can solve. It truly is a race against time and space because both of them never stop.