Researchers have found evidence of the world that crashed into the Earth billions of years ago to form the Moon.
Analysis of lunar rock brought back by Apollo astronauts shows traces of the "planet" called Theia.
The researchers claim that their discovery confirms the theory that the Moon was created by just such a cataclysmic collision.
The study has been published in the journal Science.
Earlier analyses had shown Moon rock to have originated entirely from the Earth whereas computer simulations had shown that the Moon ought to have been mostly derived from Theia
Now a more refined analysis of Moon rock has found evidence of material thought to have an alien origin.
Moon created in violent collision with Earth, clues in Apollo rocks suggest
Chemical signatures in rocks from Apollo moon missions point to cataclysmic impact between Earth and Mars-sized planet
A new analysis of lunar rocks brought home by Apollo mission astronauts has shed fresh light on the violent birth of the moon. Researchers in Germany have found small but distinctive chemical signatures that suggest the moon formed when a giant planetary body slammed into the early Earth 4.5bn years ago.
Scientists have several theories for how the moon may have formed, but the "giant impact hypothesis" has been the leading explanation for some time. A cataclysmic impact between the Earth and a Mars-sized planet, known as Theia, would have scattered rock and dust from both bodies out into space, and these fragments would then have coalesced to form the moon.
But there was a problem with this scenario that left some researchers in doubt: variants of chemical elements on Earth seemed identical to those on the moon. If the moon had formed in a huge collision, then lunar rock should differ from Earth rock, because the former would contain material from Theia.
Scientists at the University of Göttingen analysed rocks brought back by the Apollo 11, 12 and 16 missions and found small but significant differences in the ratios of oxygen isotopes in moon and Earth rocks.
originally posted by: IsaacKoi
"Moon created in violent collision with Earth, clues in Apollo rocks suggest"
originally posted by: Stayawayjoe
a reply to: smurfy
It was a huge ASTEROID! It hit the Earth and shattered a huge piece from it.
There will be traces of the asteroid, but it is composed of Earth.
The Moon will be very deep earth rock indeed, beyond the metal strata.
The Moon was formed at the very beginning of Earth when it was all fire and brimstone.
originally posted by: WanDash
a reply to: IsaacKoi
Interesting that no-one is mentioning the giant elephant in the you-know-where...
Being - Sitchin said that such a collision was described in the ancient texts.
Correct, or not, I find it interesting.