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How was the Earth Formed? - Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Corrie Boone

Corrie holds master's in elementary education, taught elementary ESL in the public schools for 5 years, and recently was teaching EFL abroad.

Where did Earth come from, and how was it formed? How did the universe come to be? Come along to see how it all started with a big bang and read about how things have changed over time!

The Story of Earth

Have you ever thought about what Earth is or how it came to be? Earth is just a huge ball that floats around in space. But how did it get there? When did it get there? In this lesson, you'll learn how Earth came to be the planet it is today. We'll also look at how Earth's moon came to be.

The Big Bang

Scientists today believe that about 15 billion years ago the whole universe was inside a tiny bubble, way smaller than the tip of a pen. Then, about 13.8 billion years ago, the tiny ball bubble began heating up and generating energy, until finally it exploded. Today, we call this explosion the Big Bang.

An explosion like the Big Bang
big bang explosion

Can't quite picture in your mind how this is possible? Well, imagine having a snowball fight. To begin with, your snowball is pretty small. But then you throw it at something and it explodes. Then the snow is all over, covering an area much larger than the original snowball was. Well, this is the same thing that happened with the universe.

How'd Earth Come from That?

The universe exploded into many tiny particles, making room for all the planets, the stars, and the Sun to form. However, at the time, the universe was way too hot for these formations to begin. The universe continued expanding, and it cooled down over time. Then, about 4.6 billion years ago, everything began to spin, forming very strong winds, and gravity pulled particles together from the explosion, forming the Sun.

With the Sun now created, the materials remaining clumped together, forming larger particles. The strong winds were still happening and swept away lighter materials, like gases, leaving the heavy, rock-like materials behind to form Earth. The other materials that were swept away formed other planets, asteroids, comets, and moons.

Over time, gravity pulled more particles to Earth. Some of the particles were heavier than others, and gravity pulled them to the center, creating Earth's core. Other particles layered on top of each other to form the rest of the earth's layers.

This process by which gravity pulled particles together is called accretion. All the planets, asteroids, comets, and moons were formed in this same way.

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