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MSU joins worldwide effort to better understand the sun
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This painting, "Half an Hour After the Giant Impact," is an artist's rendition of a very heavy object striking early Earth. (Painting by William K. Hartmann, Planetary Science Institute, Tucson).
A new program, "Variability of the Sun and Its Terrestrial Impact," will focus on the declining phase of solar activity. Scientists from around the world, including MSU, will be involved in the investigations. (Logo courtesy of VarSITI).
This graphic shows the early evolution of the Earth's surface and atmospheres. The upper left photo shows the impact of a very heavy object on early Earth. The resulting debris orbited around the Earth and later coalesced, creating the moon. The upper right photo shows the inhospitable environment that followed because of meteors, asteroids and comets bombarding the Earth for a prolonged period. The bottom right photo shows the surface of the Earth after the bombardment subsided. The bottom left photo shows the "Snowball Earth," a paradox that Piet Martens and his team are studying.