When worlds literally collide
It is theorized that our moon was formed when our planet was struck a glancing blow by an object roughly the size of Mars. The notion is known as the giant impact hypothesis. If such a large impact happened to our planet, what about the other planets. How common are giant impacts within our solar system? From the loss of the outer layers of Mercury, to the two-faced appearance of Mars, to the tipped over condition of Uranus, it seems that about half our planets were struck hard enough, by large enough objects, to have a major effect on how the planets appear today.