The birth of the moon reviewed by NASA, a new study shows how it could have formed

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 The birth of the Moon reviewed by NASA, a new study shows how it could have been formed

Billions of years ago, a very different version of the Earth from the present one was hit by an object as large as Mars, called Theia, and the Moon was formed from that collision. This is & nbsp; the new theory elaborated & nbsp; by NASA and visible in the video published on the official website of the US government agency. & Nbsp; How exactly this formation happened is a scientific puzzle that researchers have studied for decades, without finding a definitive answer. . Most theories hold that the Moon formed from the debris of this collision, coalescing into orbit over the course of months or years. A new simulation proposes a different theory: the Moon could have formed immediately, within hours, when material from Earth and Theia was launched directly into orbit after the impact. “This opens up a whole new range of possible starting points for the evolution of the Moon,” said Jacob Kegerreis, postdoctoral researcher at NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley and lead author of the paper on these. results published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. “We entered this project without knowing exactly what the results of these high resolution simulations would be. So, in addition to discovering that standard resolutions can give misleading answers, it was even more exciting that the new results could include a satellite in orbit. similar to the Moon “. The simulations used in this research are among the most detailed of their kind, operating at the highest resolution of any simulation performed to study the origins of the Moon or other giant impacts. & Nbsp; This increased computing power has shown that low-resolution simulations can leaving out important aspects of this type of collision, allowing researchers to see new behaviors emerge that previous studies were unable to see. To understand the origins of the Moon it is necessary to use the knowledge we have about the Moon – the knowledge of its mass, its orbit and the precise analysis of the lunar rock samples – and elaborate scenarios that could lead to what we see today. Previous theories were able to explain some aspects of the Moon's properties quite well, such as its mass and orbit, but with some important reservations. An unsolved mystery is why the composition of the Moon is so similar to that of the Earth. Scientists can study the composition of a material based on its isotopic signature, a chemical clue of how and where an object was created. The lunar samples that scientists were able to study in the laboratory show isotope signatures very similar to those of terrestrial rocks, unlike rocks from Mars or other parts of the solar system. This makes it likely that much of the material that makes up the Moon originally came from the Earth. In previous scenarios, where Theia was “sprinkled” into orbit and mixed with just some material from Earth, such strong similarities are less likely to be seen – unless Theia was also isotopically Earth-like. , an unlikely coincidence. In this theory, more terrestrial material was used to create the Moon, particularly its outer layers, which could help explain this similarity in composition. Other theories have been proposed to explain these similarities in composition, such as the synestia model – in which the Moon formed within a vortex of vaporized rocks from the collision – but these likely struggle to explain the Moon's current orbit. This faster, single-stage training theory offers a cleaner and more elegant explanation for both outstanding issues. Furthermore, it could provide new ways to find answers to other unsolved mysteries. This scenario can place the Moon in a wide orbit with an incompletely fused interior, potentially explaining properties such as the slanted orbit and thin crust, making it one of the more tantalizing explanations for the Moon's origins. To get closer to confirming which of these theories is correct it will be necessary to analyze future lunar samples brought back to Earth for study by NASA's future Artemis missions. As scientists gain access to samples from other parts of the moon and from greater depths below the lunar surface, they will be able to compare real-world data with these simulated scenarios and understand what they indicate about how the moon has evolved over its billions of years. history.