The catastrophe 4.5 billion years ago gave birth to the moon: scientists showed how it all happened (video)

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A catastrophe 4.5 billion years ago gave birth to the moon: scientists showed how it all happened (video)

New research confirms a long-standing theory, but scientists have presented an important clarification to it.

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For 50 years, there has been a main theory about the origin of the moon. According to this hypothesis, 150 million years after the formation of the solar system, that is, approximately 4.4 billion years ago, a protoplanet, which scientists called Theia, crashed into our planet. It was about the size of Mars, which has a diameter of 6.7 thousand km (Earth's diameter is slightly more than 12.7 thousand km). It was this collision that led to the appearance of the moon. But what was the nature of this cosmic catastrophe and what exactly happened after the collision, that is, how exactly the Moon appeared, is still a subject of debate in the scientific community. But a new study suggests that the moon was immediately launched into Earth's orbit after the collision of two planets, writes the Daily Mail.

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Scientists have long tried to understand exactly how the Moon appeared if it was formed as a result of the collision of two planets. Also, scientists did not have a single answer to the question of why the composition of the Moon and the Earth is so similar. According to the main theory about the origin of the moon, Theia's impact on the Earth was so strong that as a result a huge cloud of debris was formed, which eventually merged into our satellite.

Catastrophe 4.5 billion years back gave birth to the moon: scientists showed how it all happened (video)

The catastrophe 4.5 billion years ago gave birth to the Moon: scientists showed how everything happened (video)

This cloud of debris should have consisted of some kind of terrestrial substance, which can explain similarities between earth and moon. Some scientists have suggested that the protoplanet Theia also consisted of Earth-like matter. Therefore, they could unite as a result of the impact.

In their study, scientists from the University of Durham decided to finally find the answer to how exactly the formation of the moon occurred. And they claim that as a result of a collision of two planets billions of years ago, our Moon was immediately thrown into orbit around the Earth.

The catastrophe 4.5 billion years ago gave birth to the moon: scientists showed how everything happened (video)

The catastrophe 4.5 billion years ago gave birth to the moon: scientists showed how it all happened (video)

Scientists have created a new simulation using a powerful supercomputer. They were able to simulate hundreds of different types of collisions between two planets, changing the angle of impact, its speed, as well as the mass and speed of rotation of the two objects. According to Vincent Ecke of the University of Durham, their simulations explain why the moon's composition is so similar to that of Earth's mantle.

The study found that most of the moon formed immediately after another planet hit Earth. This means that during this event, when the Moon formed, less material melted than previously thought.

Simulations have shown that when a satellite is close to Earth, it will be torn apart by tidal forces from Earth's gravity, therefore, the Moon survived only by being thrown into orbit around the Earth immediately after the impact.

The catastrophe 4.5 billion years ago gave birth to the moon: scientists showed how it all happened (video)

A catastrophe 4.5 billion years ago gave birth to the Moon: scientists showed how it all happened (video)

But this is just another theory that further studies of the internal structure of the moon can confirm. And for this, most likely, a long-term presence of a person on our satellite is necessary.

And so far, humanity has had problems with this. At the very least, there is no way NASA can send a spacecraft to the moon without a crew yet, which should pave the way for the first manned flight to the moon. Focus wrote about the Artemis lunar mission in detail.