Crash between Earth and forming planet gave birth to Moon: Research

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Crash between Earth and forming planet gave birth to Moon: Research

It is not something new, scientists had already been aware about this high-speed crash, which occurred nearly 4.5 billion years ago, but many thought the Earth collided with Theia at an angle of 45 degrees or more. However, the new study found evidence that suggests a head-on collision, according to the website Space.

According to the researchers, seven rocks brought back from the moon during the Apollo missions were compared with volcanic Earth mantle rocks - and by measuring the count of oxygen isotopes found in the studied material, the UCLA team found matches between the specimens.

Professor Young's research, which employed state-of-the-art technology and techniques, disproved that.

"We do not notice any distinction between your Planetis and also the oxygen isotopes in the moon; they truly are not distinguishable", said Edward Young, a UCLA teacher of cosmochemistry and geochemistry along with cause writer. The overwhelming majority of Earth's oxygen is referred to as O-16 oxygen, because every atom contains eight protons and eight neutrons, but there are trace amounts of heavier oxygen isotopes. Mars and other planetary bodies each have a different ratio, making it a unique marker.

The findings contradict a 2014 German study that the lunar rocks would have a unique ratio of oxygen isotopes, different from those on Earth.

Astronomers had previously theorized about such a catastrophic event but the new research from the studied rocks showcase that the moon and Earth have similar chemical signatures that differentiate them from other heavenly bodies.

Edward Young and his team at the University of California said the orthodox belief on the origins of Earth and the Moon - that a smaller planet, Theia, grazed the Earth and send a chunk into Earth's orbit - was false.

When Earth and Theia crashed into Each other, did the early Earth lose any water it might have had? Most of the scientists believe that the proto-planet Theia was approximately the same size as the Earth.

Had Theia survived the impact, it probably would have become a planet similar in size to either Mars or the Earth, the researchers said. Some of these asteroids may have been rich in water, Prof. Sarah T. Stewart, who teaches at UCDavis' Earth and Planetary Sciences faculty, initially proposed the head-on collision in 2012. Science. 29 Jan 2016: Vol. 351, Issue 6272, pp. 493-496. After this latest study (described above), scientists believe it was a head-on collision.

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