What is our Moon actually made off, Earth itself or the thing that hit Earth?
This is just another mystery that scientists have been solving. Previously, it was said that our Moon is mostly composed of the thing that hit Earth, but now with the advance chemical analysis of the Moon’s material, this theory is not standing its point.
Billions of years ago, when our Solar System was young and the Earth was preparing itself for life, a rock the size of Mars took an unfortunate turn near Venus and hit Earth. This lead to the disintegration of the rock, with the remaining bouncing and concealing into an orbit around Earth and that rock is the Moon. This theory is known as the Giant Impact Hypothesis.
Earlier, there was not much problem with this theory as the whole assumption somewhat seemed true, but with the advance chemical analysis of Moon’s material, this theory doesn’t stand its point on why the material of the Earth and Moon are somewhat of the same origin.
This is the place where results from a recent study come into play. The study was performed by a team of scientists from Japan and the United States, and tends to mix oceans of magma into the Giant Impact Hypothesis theory.
According to the study, back then when the foreign rock collided with Earth, Earth was not Earth but a planet with oceans of magma. This new change predicts that this happened some 50 million after the origin of the sun, with the oceans of Magma being almost 1500 kilometres deep.
The computer simulation created shows that when the rock collided with Earth, the Earth’s magma splashed to space. While the impact caused the space rock to break, due to the super high impact temperatures, the splashed magma’s volume expanded as it sprang into space. Further, while most of remains of the foreign rock fell back on Earth, the cloud of molten magma remained, which eventually came together and formed the Moon. Basically meaning, moon is formed by Earth materials derived at very high temperatures.
Snapshot of the Computer Simulation showing foreign rock (blue) smashing into Earth’s Magma (red)
In the previous studies and theories, Moon was said to be formed of near 80% foreign materials but according to this study, the Moon is formed by 80% Earth materials. The study’s author Shun-Ichiro Karato, a geophysicist at Yale University, also highlights this by saying “There is a big Difference”.
This study, even after being super compatible with the Giant Impact Hypothesis and answering most questions about the similarity of the Earth and Moon chemical composition, is still not the complete answer to how the moon actually came into being. But still, the theory provides a different viewing angle based on some real observations.