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New Theory About the Moon and How it Got There Revealed

Nov 02, 2016 06:32 AM EDT
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A new theory about how the moon got to its place today is being presented and the scientific community is eager to know the truth. For years, the planet's moon has baffled experts with regard to its formation and its orbit. It is regarded as one of the mysterious objects in the Solar System. The most common is the 'giant impact' theory, but a recent study offers a modification to the commonly known theory about how the moon got to its place today.

The new study was published in the journal Nature. Experts say that the moon is not directly comparable in size when it comes to the planet it obits and that it has similarities in terms of composition to Earth with some omitted compounds.

Old theories suggest that the moon could have been once part of the Earth and that it had separated from the planet in an impact. This alone makes the moon different from other objects within the Solar System.

"Every other body in the solar system has different chemistry," Sarah Stewart, a professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California said in a statement.

The 'giant impact' theory further suggests that the Earth came from a Mars-sized object where the moon originated.  The impact also caused the formation of the "angular momentum" that paved the way for the Earth-moon system. Scientists have long since related the moon's orbit to tidal forces and the movements of the two bodies following the theory. But the theory has its own flaws. The moon has so many similarities with the Earth, and if patterns are to be followed, it should be orbiting over the equator and not in its current angle.

Stewart and her colleagues offer a new alternative model to the existing theory. They said some of the angular momentum of the moon might have been caused by the Earth-sun system. This allowed a bigger impact since the beginning. In this alternate theory, the moon was formed from molten by-products from a more energetic collision that caused the formation of both the moon and the Earth.

In the new theory, the Earth was sent to spin with its axis towards the Sun. The difference in composition can be explained by the merging of materials from the Earth and the object that impacted the Mars-like formation the soon will be the Earth. And as per the moon's current orbit? The proponents said it could be attributed to the "Laplace plane transition" that did not affect the Sun and Earth's forces but had drastically caused angular momentum to the Earth-Moon system.

But the moon did not land from the impact to its place today; it could be tens of million years for it to arrive in its orbit today.

"One giant impact sets off the sequence of events," Steward also said in a statement.

 

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