Early Solar System. Artwork of numerous small rocky bodies (planetessimals) forming in the protoplanetary disc of the early Solar System.The planetessimals were formed by the collision and electrostatic accretion of smaller particles. Later, the accretion process became gravitational, with smaller bodies attracted to and impacting on larger bodies. Ultimately, protoplanets and then planets were formed. In the inner Solar System, this is the process by which the Earth, Mars, Mercury and Venus formed around 4.6 billion years ago.
Science Photo Library was founded in 1981 by Michael Marten, one of the authors of "Worlds Within Worlds", a book exploring different ways to observe the universe - from electron micrographs, to images of earthrise taken from the Apollo spacecraft. When Marten started receiving requests for the beautiful images in the book, he had an idea of setting up Science Photo Library.
Since then, Science Photo Library has continued to work alongside world acclaimed photographers and the leading science and medical experts to provide a central source of the best science and specialist imagery available. Although the collection started with scientific images, it has grown to encompass all aspects of science and their impact on everyday life.
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