There's more to the beginning of the universe than a loud noise

12) The Earth makes a Moon

So here we are. We made it. We have finally arrived to Earth, our home. Except, it wasn’t exactly homely when it was a semi-molten, red hot spheroid bulging and spinning chaotically in space.

There were many things missing back then. The grass, the greenery, the sea and the blue sky. But there was something else amiss that we kind of take for granted. Something big. Take a look up. There was no moon.

Lots of planets have a companion or two, but our moon is special. Some moons form gently from the dust around a planet as it is forming. Others are stray passing rocks caught by a planet’s Gravity. But our moon is the result of a massive accidental bumping-into. A smaller planet, about a third the size of Earth, crashed almost directly into us when we were still young. Much of the smaller planet was absorbed into the bigger planet, but a huge splash of molten rock was sent out into orbit. For a while everything was a hot mess, but in its own time, the material formed into two separate bodies. The smaller planet had deposited much if its heavy baggage (like iron) into our core, and the lighter, fluffy material is what splashed out and coalesced to form our light, beautiful white Moon.

In the long run, it was a very happy accident. We are lucky we have our life-long partner in the sky. Without the moon, the tilt of the Earth in relation to the Sun would undergo significant wobbles, making our weather and seasons many times more chaotic. The Moon is our anchor. Had that collision never happened, had our Moon never formed, the delicate conditions needed for life on Earth might not have been met, and we simply would not have existed.

Next: The Inflation