UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
Home
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Webcasts
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
How was Earth made?
Question Date: 2019-04-25
Answer 1:

Scientist have models in order to explain how the universe and the planets formed, including Earth. According to the best model we have, the planets in our solar system formed from gas and dust surrounding the sun. Every object exerts force on other objects through gravity (gravity is the force which keeps all of the planets in orbit around the sun).

It's easy to recognize that the earth exerts a gravitational force on you, but you also exert the same gravitational force on the earth.

Dust particles, even though they are very small, were attracted to each other by gravity. There may have been other processes that helped as well, such as static electricity. Static electricity is often created when two objects are rubbed together, and electrons from one of the objects rub off onto the other.

Electrical attraction is a much stronger force than gravity, so this might have sped things along. Once the process got rolling, dust particles collected into rocks (or at least "snowballs" of dust), then into boulders, then BIG boulders, and eventually the boulders collided with each other and formed planets, like Earth. Big planets have a lot of gravity, so they pulled in the rest of the nearby dust.



Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use