Moon mystery solved? Study suggests giant space rock hit the Earth 4.5 B years ago

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A new study suggests that the formation of the Earth, the Moon emerged from a giant space rock that hit our planet about 4.5 billion years ago, while it was still forming.

The research, published in the scientific journal Nature, suggests that the previous explanation, two protoplanets colliding (also known as Theia), may not be entirely correct.

“Here, we can say that a large, solid mass struck the proto-Earth, while it was covered with a magma ocean, under the conventional collision conditions,” the researchers wrote in the study abstract.


There is no shortage of theories about how the Moon formed over the years, including the aforementioned protoplanet collision. But it is the ability of magma from the still young Earth that has never been thought of before.

“For the work on the moon’s formation, ignored the effect of the magma ocean,” the study’s lead author, Natsuki Hosono, told in a recent interview. “Our research concluded that the magma ocean is one of the most important things for the moon-forming giant impact.”

“These calculations show that, due to the large difference in the shock heating of silicate melt and solids (stones), a substantial portion of the emitted, the Moon-forming material is derived from the magma ocean, even in a very oblique impact.” the study of abstract added.

(NASA/Thomas Campbell)

If the two protoplanets did collide, then the Moon must be made of about 60 percent of Theia, the material, according to the computer models that are run in the “Giant Impact Hypothesis” scenario, added. However, rock samples collected from the surface of the moon to see the Moon is remarkably similar to the Earth.

In January, researchers described that a part of the Earth that it might be 4.1 billion years old and is described as the planet of the “oldest rock” was found and excavated on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts.

In the last month, NASA announced that it had selected nine teams, a total of $8 million, to help study lunar samples collected during the Apollo missions for the first time in an effort to better understand the Moon, but also help to prepare for future exploration of space.

The Moon is a source of fascination for mankind for centuries, and since the Apollo missions of the mid-20th century, mankind’s knowledge about our celestial satellite has increased significantly.

Scientists recently learned that the Moon loses water when meteoroids hit the surface, according to a study published in March.

NASA’s ARTEMIS mission also showed that solar wind has a great influence on the lunar surface and exposed to the radiation of the Sun, the scars on the surface, to compare with a “sunburn” by the Moon’s weak magnetic field.


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