late heavy bombardment

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A period about 4 billion years ago during which planetary bodies suffered intense bombardment by fragments left over from the formation of the planets. As the fragments were swept up by collision with the planets their numbers diminished, and after about 3.9 billion years ago the late heavy bombardment came to an end. Impacts have continued to occur on planets and satellites, but at a much lower rate.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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