Scientists have conducted a new large-scale study in which they were able to establish that the Moon mostly consists of rocks of the mantle of the ancient Land, which «broke away» from our planet during its collision with Theia. An article about the study published in the journal Nature.
The researchers argue that the collision of almost all the Land was «virtually evaporated». According to kun Wang of Harvard University, thanks to the measurements of isotopes that were conducted, it was found that the concentration of elements in the matter of the Earth and moon are different. This suggests that the collision of proto-Earth and theis do mostly vaporized the planet.
Over the last 30 years scientific minds believed that the Moon was formed as a result of collision of theis with the «germ» of the Earth. As a result of collision there was a release of matter theis and proto-Earth in space from matter and formed the Moon.
However, this clash is a significant part of the material of which is in the Moon, was to bring the hypothetical Theia. Thus the Moon’s composition should differ from the Earth, as different from her most celestial bodies in the inner Solar system. In fact, however, the composition of the Earth and moon are very similar.
According to Wang, there are actually two main versions of this «cosmic accident» – a head-on collision in which Theia struck the mantle of the Earth and had completely melted, and a relatively weak collision on a tangent, which resulted in the future the Moon formed mostly from rocks of theis.
Most planetary scientists adhered to the second version. However, in January 2016 the likelihood of this theory has decreased significantly after chemists analyzed the proportion of oxygen isotopes in lunar soil samples and found no differences with the indicators of the Earth
Van and his colleague Stein Jacobsen managed to find another argument against the second theory and argument in favor of the idea of «frontal collision». They measured the proportion of other isotopes of the element potassium in the rocks of the earth and the moon in seven different samples of lunar soil. As it turned out, the potassium in them is 0.04% more than in the rocks of the Earth.
According to the authors of the opening, a similar picture could arise only in the case if the Moon was born as a result of evaporation in space of large quantities of matter of the mantle molten drop theis, who was drowned in the depths of the Earth.