Some 4. Eventually, the collisions forged the rocky planets that we know today — Mercury, Venus, Mars and, of course, Earth. Our moon is thought by some scientists to have formed from debris spewed by such an impact between Earth and a protoplanet called Theia. Pressure that high could have been reached only inside a planetary body that was between the sizes of Mercury and Mars, he said.
That protoplanet most likely collided with another planet and expelled debris that ended up in the asteroid belt, where it wandered for billions of years before plunging to Earth. Adrian Brearley, an earth scientist at the University of New Mexico who was not involved in the study, said the findings were compelling.
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