Moon’s own ‘big bang’? Study reveals story behind formation of Earth’s moon, mysterious ‘Theia’ role in it

FE Online
Supermoon, Holi, Supermoon 2020, Supermoon 2020 India, Supermoon 2019, Supermoon today, Supermoon meaning, Supermoon india, Supermoon kya hai, Supermoon Holi, when is Holi, Holi purnima, holi poornima, Holi full moon, holi full moon supermoon

Have you ever wondered why the moon is always there next to Earth? How did it come into existence and what is its relation to the Earth? These questions have long been pondered upon. A new study by Nature Geoscience might be able to answer these questions. While according to the giant impact theory, the moon was formed as the Earth collided with a planet known as Theia, the new study reveals the possible line of events that may have unfolded during the collision which ended up making the Moon that we see in our sky quite similar to the planet we live on than Theia. The study is done upon the assumption that Theia existed.

The old study

First it is important to understand what the giant impact theory stated. According to this study, Theia was half the size of the Earth and upon its collision around 4.5 billion years ago, heat that could create magma oceans was released and with the debris in orbit, it created the moon. It also explains that the moon has been "tidally locked" with Earth. It also shows similarities in composition when compared to the Earth. The planet's natural satellite has similar composition other than Iron and Hydrogen presence. Thus, the question remains that when moon originated from Theia, it should show 80 per cent of Theia properties and not Earth's.

The new study decodes

The new study has decoded that while the Earth’s moon looks quite identical to the Earth, it is in fact different. The answer came by studying the isotopes of oxygen present in Earth and the Moon. In terms of Chemistry, isotopes of one element have the same number of protons but different neutrons. The study said heavier isotopes of oxygen were found in the inner layers of the moon's crust implying that the moon interior has more bits of Theia.