Moon Came to Existence After Collision Between Earth And Twin Planet
Just yesterday we reported that researchers believe we could find alien life in the next 10-20 years. Researchers have been able to find water on distant exoplanets that could lead us to some form of alien life.
However, before we look for signs of life on other planets and spend billions on researching, don’t you think we should first get to know our planet and Moon a bit better? Don’t you think we should first solve nearby mysteries before heading towards other planets and solar systems?
As much as we think we know about life on Earth, as much as we think we know about Moon or Sun, we still have a lot to catch-up on.
For example, according to a new research, our Moon was formed after Earth and a twin planet collided with each other. This theory has been around for a while but there were many questions which needed an answer. Such as if there is some form of material left from our twin planet on the Moon? If so, how much?
Computer models show that the Earth collided with a twin planet which was formed near our planet with similar materials. After the debris formed the Moon, both of these planets suffered smaller collisions with protoplanets.
Theia is the name given to our twin planet, which collided with us around 4.5 billion years ago. In terms of size, this planet was around the size of Mars with a mass of one-tenth that of the Earth.
Chemical and observational evidence suggest that lunar surface has materials similar to that of Earth’s mantle.
Planets and massive asteroids contain similar ratio of element which is determined by the location on which they are formed. Because Moon (or Theia) feature the same ratio chemicals, this led researchers to believe that Earth and Theia were formed at the same location.
They also found isotopes of tungsten in the Earth and the moon to be pretty similar.
According to Richard Walker of the University of Maryland:
The problem is that Earth and the moon are very similar with respect to their isotopic fingerprints, suggesting that they are both ultimately formed from the same material that gathered early in the solar system’s history. This is surprising, because the Mars-sized body that created the moon is expected to have been very different. So the conundrum is that Earth and the moon shouldn’t be as similar as they are.
Our Universe never fails to surprise us.