Even if scientists elaborated theories about the formation of the cosmic objects not only in our solar system but also of stars, planets and galaxies outside the Milky Way, these theories continue to be put to the test with every new discovery in the field of astrophysics. But this time, astronomers are certain to have found new clues on the creation of the Moon.
In the present, the accepted theory of how the moon of the Earth was formed says that the moon is the result of a gigantic collision which occurred 4,5 billion years ago, a collision which is thought to have happened between Earth and another cosmic object, that astronomers indicate it was around the size of the planet Mars.
That theory is known among scientists and astrophysics enthusiasts as the Giant Impact Hypothesis. And the Giant Impact Hypothesis was accepted in the academic communities for decades. The size of the moon and its journey to encircle the Earth, or the moon`s orbit, were taken into consideration by scientists when they elaborated the Giant Impact Hypothesis. But it seems that there are still questions to which this theory failed to answer exhaustively. For instance, new studies have revealed similarities in the chemical structure of both Earth and its moon.
The journal Nature has published over the last week papers which intend to come into the aid of the collision theory. One of the series of studies which have been published on this matter intends to offer an explanation for the similarity between Earth`s and its moon`s chemical composition. This study also targets to answer the following question: why is the chemical structure of Earth and its moon so different from that of other planets which are located in our solar system?
Alessandra Mastrobuono-Battisti and her fellow scientists have simulated collisions between small planets, which are also called protoplanets. They have found that there was a 20 per cent to 40 per cent chance that in the collision which created moon planets with similar chemical compositions were involved. The chemical similarities regarded the percentage of elements like chromium, tungsten, titanium and silicon. Precedent studies estimated that such a chance was 10 per cent lower than the new results.
Other studies on the matter were also published in Nature. One of them was concerned with the events after the collision which formed the moon. When experts analyzed tungsten, by comparing rocks originating from both Earth and its moon, they have observed that Earth had significantly lower amounts of the isotope tungsten-182. That isotope is thought to have been caused by the dust emerging from the collision.
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