Space Bullying: Failed Planets Might Have Caused The Earth's Scars

First Posted: Jan 24, 2017 04:32 AM EST

A new study gives an explanation as to how the Earth was shaped into what it is now -- battle scars and all.

Gizmodo reported that young Earth was apparently a victim of a series of space bullying. While other scientists believe that asteroids, now located within the asteroid belt, have hit the Earth along with its Moon and Mars, a new study pointed the failed planets as the culprit behind the huge craters these Solar System buddies have now.

These sore losers must have taken their revenge for not growing into full-fledged planets.

According to scientists David Nesvorny and William Bottke from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado, these groups of massive space debris collided with Earth, its Moon and Mars during the Late Heavy Bombardment. This study was presented at the 229th American Astronomical Society (AAS) conference earlier this month.

Their observations on planet migration also led them to another conclusion. "We think the giant planets [Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune] may have started in a different configuration," Bottke said. "They did migrate to their current orbits...the question is, how precisely did that happen?"

They theorized that these huge planets may have left some massive space trash during their migration. Larger than the asteroids in the asteroid belt, these space boulders may better explain the giant craters on Earth, its Moon and Mars.

"We have evidence for two early-bombardment populations and a time difference between them -- a late one, plausibly made by escapees from the asteroid belt, and an early one from elsewhere," he said in an interview with

The researchers are also planning to conduct further studies on the time of the Late Heavy Bombardment, which they said preceded life on Earth.

"Did life start and then get obliterated and then make a comeback?" Bottke wondered. "Or did it manage to survive this massive bombardment? How does bombardment effect our atmosphere and our biosphere?"

See Now: NASA's Juno Spacecraft's Rendezvous With Jupiter's Mammoth Cyclone

©2017 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. The window to the world of science news.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics