How exactly was our moon formed? This question has puzzled many scientists for several years, as since the 1970s astronomers suspected that the moon It arose when a giant protoplanet called Theia struck Earth, however, the nature of this collision and what happened right after it was discussed.
According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, some scientists believe that the collision created a vast cloud of debris, which over time merged with the moon, however, in a new study, researchers at Durham University said that the giant collision immediately put the moon into orbit around the Earth.
“This training path could help explain the similarity in isotopic composition between the moon rocks reported by the Apollo astronauts and the Earth’s mantle,” said study co-author Vincent Ike, further determining the type of collision that occurred.
The researcher explained: “About 4.45 billion years ago, 150 million years after the formation of the solar system, the Earth was hit by a Mars-sized object called Theia.”
The collision also led to the formation of the Moon, but controversy rages over what exactly happened during this event and the question of why the Moon and Earth are similar in composition remains a mystery.
The researchers decided to definitively explain the origin story of the moon in the study, as the team used the open source SWIFT simulation code, running on the DiRAC Memory Intensive (“COSMA”) service, to create the simplest supercomputer simulation. detailed to date.
This allowed them to simulate hundreds of different impacts, varying the angle and speed of the collision, as well as the masses and rotations of the two colliding objects.
While previous studies used low-resolution simulations, the additional computing power revealed important new aspects: for example, the high-resolution simulations only produced a moon-like moon, and further details showed that its outer layers were richer. of material of terrestrial origin.
If a large portion of the Moon formed soon after the giant’s impact, it could mean that less material melted during the formation than previously thought, and depending on how this molten rock solidified, these theories should predict the various internal structures of the Moon.