Scientists Offer Compelling Evidence That Earth is the Result of a Collision Between Two Early Planets

Thursday, 04 February 2016 - 7:00PM
Astrophysics
Earth
Moon
Thursday, 04 February 2016 - 7:00PM
Scientists Offer Compelling Evidence That Earth is the Result of a Collision Between Two Early Planets
The origins of the moon have been a rather interesting study over the years, as it's been determined for quite some time that the Earth's natural satellite wasn't captured, as Mars' moons, or the result of some other natural phenomena. Being composed of similar material as Earth, it's long been thought that a collision took place with the Earth and some other massive object in the early solar system, causing for some of Earth's mass to be be ejected from the surface to form what mankind now knows as the moon. Now a Mars has a different complement that Venus, and Venus has a different complement from Earth, etc.), the fact that the Earth and the moon have basically the exact same composition means that they were in all likelihood made at the same time and from the same material.  Moon rocks from the Apollo 12, 15, and 17 missions were analyzed and then compared to the analysis of volcanic rocks from Arizona and Hawaii. Finding that they had essentially the same isotopic signature, this seems to be pretty compelling evidence that Theia and the Earth never actually collided as the former theory said. Rather Theia and some other planetary body likely hit head on, destroying both planets in the process and forming two new objects from the ruin: Earth and it's lunar companion. This is definitely an exciting discovery, one which could very well "re-write the science books," as some say. What's truly exciting is to see, however, is just how far technology and science have progressed so that answers that man once thought were impossible to know by the scientific method are now unfolding before his very eyes.">rather compelling study has been concluded by researchers at UCLA which offers verifiable evidence that a collision is indeed responsible for the formation of not only the moon, but of the third planet from the sun itself.  

The former theory of a planetary collision forming the moon only was supported by a 2014 study that seemed to suggest its authenticity. The object that was said to have collided with Earth called Theia, the mother of the moon in Greek mythology, should have made up a majority of the moon's surface material. This mean's that the Earth and the moon should have fairly different chemical signatures. While the study mentioned previously suggested that this was the case, the new UCLA study apparently disproves it.  

The researchers studied the isotopic signature of both the Earth and the moon, and found that they were essentially the same. As each planet has their own unique composition of oxygen isotopes (Mars has a different complement than that of Venus, and Venus has a different complement from Earth, etc.), the fact that the Earth and the moon have basically the exact same composition means that they were in all likelihood made at the same time and from the same materials.  

Moon rocks from the Apollo 12, 15, and 17 missions were analyzed and then compared to the analysis of volcanic rocks from Arizona and Hawaii. Finding that they had essentially the same isotopic signature, this seems to be pretty compelling evidence that Theia and the Earth never actually collided as the former theory said. Rather Theia and some other planetary body likely hit head on, destroying both planets in the process and forming two new objects from the ruin: Earth and it's lunar companion.    

This is definitely an exciting discovery, one which could very well "re-write the science books," as some say. What's truly exciting to see, however, is just how far technology and science have progressed so that answers that many once thought impossible to know by the scientific method are now unfolding before man's very eyes.
Science
Space
Astrophysics
Earth
Moon

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