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Ancient gases trapped deep within the Earth's mantle may reveal clues about our planet's earliest days, according to a new study.
For the past decade scientists believed our planet's memory was reset 4.5 billion years ago when an object the size of Mars slammed into the Earth, releasing enough energy to cause most of the Earth to turn into a liquid magma ocean.
Any clues to the planet's earlier past, scientists thought, likely got melted away in this last, great impact, which also created our moon.
However, Sujoy Mukhopadhyay, a geochemist at Harvard University has found evidence that the impact may not have affected the whole planet in the same way.
"The simulations we are doing now indicate that some regions got melted and vaporized, while the opposite side of the planet did not melt at all," he said Monday after presenting his research at the Goldschmidt conference in Sacramento.
One hypothesis I read long ago was that the moon was part of something bigger that hit earth and rolled around it loosing and gaining as it rolled. I liked that idea. I wonder if I can find that somewhere on the net. It may not be true, but it was an interesting concept.
Now, in a study published in the journal Science, a team of German researchers say they’ve finally found clear signs in Apollo-era rock to support major theories about the moon’s creation story.
So most moons are either adopted or they’re their planet's little siblings, born of essentially the same stuff. But Earth’s moon was sired after a brief and ill-fated encounter with a smaller, Mars-sized proto-planet named Theia, which came barreling through space and crashed into Earth’s surface. Chunks of Earth and Theia went flying, eventually coalescing into the moon.
According to many accepted models, the newly formed moon would be made mostly of Theia’s remains, with 70% to 90% being Theia debris and the rest (30% to 10%) being from Earth. This would explain a lot of things about the moon, the authors point out: why the lunar satellite seems to be so lacking in water and volatiles; why its lunar core is so small, and why the Moon and Earth move around each other in the particular way they do.
originally posted by: Boscov
a reply to: snarky412
Do they know which side got hit? I read or heard someone say the Pacific without water looks like a chunk of the Earth was taken away. I have also heard Theia or whatever celestial body, planet, planetoid, asteroid it was settled into our core, but obviously no proof to that theory, that I know of. The Ring of Fire may have a whole new meaning...more like the Cauldron of Hell. So, if the Eastern Hemi did not melt...we need to start looking into those cratons, they've been around forever, right? Heck, maybe the cratons are reminants of Theia all broke up and scattered across the globe? Just a thought.