Astronomers Theorize: Earth’s near twin helped make the moon!

But solving one puzzle of lunar origins has raised another linked to the abundances of tungsten in the primordial bodies…

It’s beginning to appear the moon was born in the collision of a Mars-sized body and the early Earth, but beyond that, much about the world we see in our skies every night is still a mystery. After 61 missions, including six astronaut visits that collected samples of moon rocks, many questions remain, including how much of the moon is made from that lost planet’s leftovers, and how much was stolen from Earth? Answering these questions could offer fresh insights into the evolution of both celestial bodies…

Now, scientists in France and Israel have found evidence that the smaller body that smashed into the proto-Earth was likely made of similar stuff to our home world. Also, according to their computer models, the current composition of lunar material is best explained if whatever hit early Earth formed nearby. Two additional studies suggest that both bodies then built up a veneer of extra material as smaller protoplanets continued to bombard the young system, but Earth picked up much more of this later coating.

According to the “giant impact hypothesis,” the moon formed about 4.5 billion years ago, when a planet-like object about a tenth of Earth’s current mass slammed into our planet. Simulations and recent studies of moon rocks suggest that the moon should be mostly made from the remains of the impactor, nicknamed Theia. This would explain why the moon seems to be made of material that looks a lot like Earth’s mantle, as seen in rock samples and mineral maps.

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Earth’s near twin helped make the moon..


About jaypochapin

Married adult human male, father, brother, son, writer, voiceover actor and humorist. Frequently funny, sometimes snarky, occasionally profound. Beatles, Stones, Who, Python, Firesign Theatre, Shakespeare, Bogart/Bacall, Marx Brothers, Alice Cooper and more besides. Have worked as many things: traffic reporter, disc jockey, newscaster, interviewer, producer, copywriter, voice over talent, teacher, emcee, housekeeper, janitor, uniformed security officer, bagel baker's assistant and more, but don't let the uniform fool you, baby! I ... AM ... THE WRITER!

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