Historical perspective 1

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Historical perspective 1

Post by meodingu on Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:11 pm

Earth is estimated to have formed 4.54 billion years ago from the solar nebula, along with the Sun and other planets.[12] The moon formed roughly 20 million years later. Initially molten, the outer layer of the planet cooled, resulting in the solid crust. Outgassing and volcanic activity produced the primordial atmosphere. Condensing water vapor, most or all of which came from ice delivered by comets, produced the oceans and other water sources.[13] The highly energetic chemistry is believed to have produced a self-replicating molecule around 4 billion years ago.[14]

Continents formed, then broke up and reformed as the surface of Earth reshaped over hundreds of millions of years, occasionally combining to make a supercontinent. Roughly 750 million years ago, the earliest known supercontinent Rodinia, began to break apart. The continents later recombined to form Pannotia which broke apart about 540 million years ago, then finally Pangaea, which broke apart about 180 million years ago.[15]

There is significant evidence that a severe glacial action during the Neoproterozoic era covered much of the planet in a sheet of ice. This hypothesis has been termed the "Snowball Earth", and it is of particular interest as it precedes the Cambrian explosion in which multicellular life forms began to proliferate about 530–540 million years ago.[16]

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Re: Historical perspective 1

Post by chickengold92 on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:02 am


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