The solar system formed from a nebular cloud of dust and gas 4.6 Ga (billion years ago). The Earth has changed through time and has been affected by both catastrophic (e.g., earthquakes, meteorite impacts, volcanoes) and gradual geologic events (e.g., plate movements, mountain building) as well as the effects of biological evolution (formation of an oxygen atmosphere). Geologic time can be determined through both relative and absolute dating.
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