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The Moon Was Part of the Earth 4.5 Billion Years Ago, New Study Suggests

Sep 29, 2016 04:13 AM EDT

Did the moon come from Earth? A recent study suggests that Earth's satellite was a part of the planet until an interplanetary collision forced it to break away from the planet 4.5 billion years ago.

Based on a study, it is said that the moon was torn away from Earth's body when a celestial body as huge as Mars collided with Earth 4.5 billion years ago. The impact is so strong that a debris tore apart that was sent spiraling in its own orbit upon impact; that debris is what man knows today as the moon, according to Daily Mail.

The study conducted experiments to copy and simulate the layers of Earth evident right after the alleged impact. And although the simulation directly matches the elements near the core of the planet, there is no "hard evidence" yet to prove that a large interplanetary collision occurred.

Today, experts believe that the Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago and that the moon followed many years after that. However, this new study aims to prove that the formation of both the moon and the Earth occurred at the same time. The researchers used iron and other subsurface materials from Earth during the simulation and they have concluded that the data from the simulation is similar to the elements that can be found near the Earth's core.

This new theory also says that when protoplanet Thea hit the Earth it merged with the planet and became part of it. However, new debris was caused by the impact that turned into Earth's moon.

Before this study, there were already giant impact theories and the latest one supports the existing belief of many scientists. "They demonstrate that the giant impact scenario also explains the stratification inferred by seismology at the top of the present-day Earth's core," lead author and post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University Maylis Landeau said in a statement. "This result ties the present-day structure of Earth's core to its formation," Landeau added.

Other experts tend to agree with the latest study saying that the argument is the most "prevalent" of the entire available hypothesis on how the moon formed. However, experts also reminded the researchers that there is still no "smoking gun" evidence to prove that the latest theory is true.


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