The Moon would have formed in just a few hours, according to this study


SPACE – And if the Moon had formed in just a few hours, and not over several years, contrary to what we thought so far? This is the hypothesis put forward by a study published this Tuesday, October 4 in the journal The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The origins of Earth’s natural satellite are full of mysteries, and this new research is shaking up the scientific world, as you can see in the video at the top of the article.

Why is the classical theory divisive?

Theories about the origins of the Moon agree that it was formed during a collision between Theia, a planet the size of Mars, and our planet, about 4.5 billion years ago. ‘years. Where this new hypothesis diverges from the previous ones is on how this debris came together to form the satellite that we can observe today.

The most commonly accepted theory is that the Moon formed from the debris of this collision, merging in orbit for months or years. But this scenario does not correspond with the composition of the lunar rocks recovered during the Apollo missions. These should be mainly composed of the debris of Theia, but the analyzes carried out show a composition similar to the Earth.

A revolutionary new theory?

For researchers from NASA and the University of Durham (United Kingdom), behind this new work, there is no doubt: the composition of the Moon shows that it formed immediately, in a few hours, when debris from Earth and Theia were pulverized into space after impact. The simulations carried out from this hypothesis give a composition with 60% of material coming from the Earth, against only 30% for the classical theory.

But for this theory to be confirmed, other lunar samples will be needed. This is also one of the objectives of future NASA Artemis missions, whose first flight (often postponed) is scheduled between November 12 and 27.

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