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Genesis: How the Earth was Formed

calamity

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Well, first a giant star exploded and left behind a molecular cloud. In that cloud were all the heavier elements: iron, silicon, copper, nickel, carbon, etc., along with the lighter hydrogen and helium atoms. We can look at that cloud as ash, and call it "dust," if we choose. In essence, the dust cloud was gigantic, 100's of light years in size.

In short order--at least, it was short on the galactic scale of measuring time--the cloud began to spin and contract, spinning faster and faster as it shrunk due to gravitational forces. Within a few million years a new sun was formed at it's center. Then there was light.

In no time, the little dust balls all began clinging together, like dust bunnies. This created the planets. Suddenly the earth was separated from the heavens.

The planets were numerous in numbers; their orbits unstable. So, many of them collided with others--one such collision created our moon. But, before a 1/2 billion years were through, the orbits stabilized and the number of planets was reduced to 9 (if you still count Pluto, which I do), and most of those planets had stable orbiting moons. Order from chaos was achieved.

After that, lots of things happened. Some of it is still unknown, but the little planet that zoomed around in an orbit 3 rocks from the sun spawned life. The things which creepeth and crawleth had begun to inhabit the earth.

The rest is history.
 

calamity

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Worthy of discussion in this thread is the role of “dark” matter and energy. Both are clearly mysterious at the moment.
 

straykatz

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Worthy of discussion in this thread is the role of “dark” matter and energy. Both are clearly mysterious at the moment.

"dark" matter = evil
"light" energy = good

No mystery...it's that simple! ;)
 

calamity

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"dark" matter = evil
"light" energy = good

No mystery...it's that simple! ;)

We're in trouble then because there is something like 3x more dark energy than light. :eek:
 

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Yes. According to the "End of Time" video I saw recently, the universal doom is scheduled to occur in a Google or so.

I thought it was googolplex.
 

calamity

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Sabre

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Where did this "giant star" come from? Where did all iron, silicon, copper, nickel, carbon, etc., along with the lighter hydrogen and helium atoms that comprised this giant star come from?
 

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Where did this "giant star" come from? Where did all iron, silicon, copper, nickel, carbon, etc., along with the lighter hydrogen and helium atoms that comprised this giant star come from?

Nucleosynthesis.
 

calamity

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Where did this "giant star" come from? Where did all iron, silicon, copper, nickel, carbon, etc., along with the lighter hydrogen and helium atoms that comprised this giant star come from?

The elements, including helium, came from the giant star which, like all stars, is a thermonuclear reactor, fusing hydrogen atoms into larger ones. The giant stars were formed by clouds of hydrogen which formed after subatomic particles formed protons which then captured electrons, probably beginning within moments after inflation spread everything from a single point out to the far reaches of the cosmos.
 

calamity

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Nucleosynthesis.

I just learned something.

Neutron star mergers and collisions are also responsible for many heavy elements, via the r-process ("r" stands for "rapid"). Neutron stars are extremely dense remnants of supernovae, and as their name suggests, they consist of a complex state of matter, predominantly made of tightly packed neutrons. When two such dense stars collide, a large amount of neutron-rich matter may be ejected at extremely high temperatures and under exotic conditions, and heavy elements may form as the ejecta begins to cool. In 2017, the merger of GW170817 led to the detection of substantial signatures of gold, platinum and other heavy elements over an extended period.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nucleosynthesis
 

Manc Skipper

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Where did this "giant star" come from? Where did all iron, silicon, copper, nickel, carbon, etc., along with the lighter hydrogen and helium atoms that comprised this giant star come from?

Other stars. We're all stardust.

 

calamity

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Other stars. We're all stardust.



Yep. Regular stars make all the elements which lead up to iron. Supernovae form many of the heavier ones. And, now I read that colliding neutron stars make the rest.

Stardust indeed we all are.
 
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