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The mystery of lunar formation may have been resolved



/ Source: Space.com

By Charles Q. Choi, Space.com

The Moon May Have A new study found out that a huge Mars-sized stone had hit a magma-covered newborn earth.

The Earth came together 4.5 billion years ago, and earlier research indicated that the Moon came up shortly thereafter. For the past three decades, the predominant explanation for the origin of the moon has been that the moon resulted from the collision of two protoplanets or embryonic worlds. One of them was the Newborn Earth, and the other was a Mars-sized rock called Theia, named after the Moon Mother in Greek myth. The moon then merged from the rubble.

This "Giant Impact Hypothesis" seemed to explain many details about the Earth and the Moon, such as the size of the Moon compared to the Earth and the rotational speeds of the two bodies. Over the last 1

5 years, however, evidence has emerged that challenges it and suggests a variety of alternatives.

Related: How the Moon Formed: 5 Wild Lunar Theories

Computer Models of the A scenario with a huge impact often states that more than 60 percent of the moon should consist of material from Theia. The problem is that most bodies in the solar system have a unique chemical composition, and Earth, Theia, and therefore the Moon. Rock samples from the Moon, however, show that its composition is eerily more similar to Earth than such models would predict in versions of elements called isotopes. (The isotopes of an element each have a different number of neutrons.)


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