Recent work on the formation of the Earth-Moon binary suggests that a Mars sized object hit the proto-Earth, causing a huge disk of debris which accreted to form the moon in less than a year. Here I imagine what it might have looked like about a year after that impact with the moon grown to nearly its full size. A disk of debris is still present, and a number of substantial sized bodies still orbit. Several comets are visible in the sky and the Earth's surface is still quite molten and active. A large nebula hangs in the sky from which the proto-solar nebula emerged about 10 million years before this event. The solar system is a young and busy place, still near the peak of activity of the period of late heavy bombardment during which the oldest known impact structures in the solar system were formed.
The painting was completed on November 25, 1997. It is a 16 by 20 inch acrylic on canvas board. Featured in Comets: Creators and Destroyers by David H. Levy, 1998
Last update: November 18, 1998