Did Ancient Planet Collision Allow Life to Thrive?

Life-giving carbon can be found all over the Earth's surface, but how it got there has been a mystery.

September 16, 2016
12:23 PM EDT
How a young Earth could have merged with a Mercury-sized object when the two collided about 4.4 billion years ago. "Magma ocean processes could lead planetary embryos to develop silicon- or sulfur-rich metallic cores and carbon-rich outer layers," Rice University wrote in a statement. | Credit: Rajdeep Dasgupta