Origin of Moon – Impact Theory
The moon is extremely important to the Earth that provides the source for several calendars which tends to affect the tides of ocean. Many have been questioning on how it got there. A team of scientists have now utilised complex modelling in order to propose a new theory which involves violent collision that tends to vaporize much of the planet. Lead researcher, Matija Cuk had mentioned in a news release that in spite of smart people working on this issue for 50 years; they have still been discovering the basic things regarding the earliest history of the world.
The results published in the journal Nature had been co-authorised by scientist at the University of California, Davis, Harvard University, the University of Maryland and the SETI Institute, an organization which is recognized better for its attempt in locating alien life and where Cuk is said to be a researcher.
The origin of moon, had been the `impact theory’ for decades as one of the leading explanations, It is said that billions of years ago, Earth and Mars sized protoplanet known as Theia had collided. The wreckage had formed a ring round the equator of the Earth and had been ultimately drawn together by gravity thus forming the moon.
Debris of Theia
The moon could have been developed much nearer to Earth and ultimately moved farther away. According to Davis, senior author Sarah Stewart, professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, had informed CBC News that this idea had come around before computers could do detailed simulations of planet formation. Computer simulations now portray that the impact could have developed the moon mainly out of the debris of Theia though scientists are of the opinion that the Earth and moon tend to have unusually identical chemical makeups. Stewart states that it really puts a brake on the giant impact hypotheses.
Moreover, if the moon had been formed from the debris surrounding the equator, presently we would expect it to circle alongside the equator and the fact is, its orbit is tilted five degrees. Astronomer and co-author Douglas Hamilton of the University of Maryland had mentioned in a statement that this large tilt seems to be very unusual and till now there has not been a good explanation for the same. However it can be understood if the Earth had a more dramatic early history than suspected earlier.
Higher Energy Effect
The collision, under the new, tweaked theory could have taken place at a much sharper angle and could have been more powerful. Stewart commented that it takes a lot of energy to change an orbit. The latest model recommends a much higher energy effect which could have been much more violent that it vaporised not only Theia but the Earth also.Molten and vapour material may have shaped a huge cloud, about 500 times the extent of the present Earth.
Some of the material may have cooled and could have fallen back to Earth and the remaining may have designed the moon. The bigger collision could have been much more powerful and at that angle that it could have hit the rotational axis of the Earth between 60 and 80 degrees causing the planet to spin speedily that days could last only two hours.