Monday, April 29, 2019
For more than a century, scientists have squabbled over how the Earth’s moon formed. But researchers at Yale and in Japan say they may have the answer.
Many theorists believe a Mars-sized object slammed into the early Earth, and material dislodged from that collision formed the basis of the moon. When this idea was tested in computer simulations, it turned out that the moon would be made primarily from the impacting object. Yet the opposite is true; we know from analyzing rocks brought back from Apollo missions that the moon consists mainly of material from Earth.
A new study published April 29 in Nature Geoscience, co-authored by Yale geophysicist Shun-ichiro Karato, offers an explanation.