The moon may have formed from the merging of smaller moonlets

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Jan 13, 2017, 4:24 PM EST (Updated)

For a long time, scientists have largely believed the moon was created by a major collision between Earth and an early protoplanet around 4.4 billion years ago. But some new evidence indicates we might’ve had it wrong.

Sure, we know a lot about the moon, but its formation is still a bit of a mystery. The Washington Post reports a new study from a team of Israeli researchers that proposes the moon may have actually been created by an amalgamation of around 20+ “moonlets” when Earth was being bombarded by several smaller bodies. Remember, the early formation of our solar system was pure chaos, and it stands to reason there would be a lot of stuff just banging around and causing all this trouble.

The theory hopes to address some of the problems with the single collision theory, namely that the moon bears a striking chemical similarity to Earth. So, if it was created by a collision with another major body, why isn’t there any chemical evidence? Having the moon be formed by chunks of ol’ terra firma makes a good bit more sense.

Under this theory, all those little chunks eventually came together to form the moon we know today.


(Via The Washington Post)