Earth's cometary bombardment. Artwork of Earth being bombarded with cometary fragments. On a populated Earth, such a bombardment would be catastrophic, but in the early history of the solar system, it was cometary bombardment like this that is thought to have helped form the Earth's oceans. It is also thought that meteoritic and cometary material from space brought minerals and organic compounds to Earth, aiding or starting the development of life. This theory that life arrived on Earth from elsewhere, rather than developing here, is also known as panspermia or exogenesis.
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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