How the moon formed – new research

How the moon formed – new research

by Christian Schroeder, The Conversation

How the Earth got its moon is a long debated question. The giant impact theory – which states that the Moon formed from the a collision between the early Earth and a rocky body called Theia – has become the front runner among the explanations. But the details around how this happened are blurry and there are many observations that scientists are still struggling to explain.

Now a new study, published in Nature Geoscience, has shed light on what actually happened by solving one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the crash – why the Moon ended up being nearly identical to Earth, rather than Theia, assuming she existed.

According to the giant impact theory, Theia was a body roughly the size of Mars or smaller – half the diameter of Earth. It smashed into the developing Earth 4.5 billion years ago. This collision produced enough heat to create magma oceans and ejected a lot of debris into orbit around the Earth, which subsequently coalesced into the Moon.

Read the full article here…

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