NASA image showing what lies beneath Venus' thick atmosphere. Image Credit: NASA
A radical new moon origin theory suggests that our moon may have originally orbited the planet Venus.
The prevailing theory amongst scientists is that the moon was formed 4.5 billion years ago when a body the size of a planet smacked in to the Earth, producing a plume of rock and debris that eventually settled to form the moon that we see today.
Not everyone is satisfied with this theory however and many scientists continue to investigate alternative ideas. At the Origin of the Moon conference at the Royal Society last week, one of the more unusual proposals suggested was that the moon had actually originated around the planet Venus.
"The reason why it's interesting is that Earth and Venus are close to each other," said Professor Dave Stevenson who proposed the idea. "They have similar mass, and people think they have probably formed in a similar way. So the question is, if Earth and Venus formed in similar ways, how come the Earth has a Moon and Venus doesn't ?"
While the Venus capture theory also has its issues, Stevenson is adamant that it is a possibility. Chances are that if in the future we can obtain and analyze material from Venus to compare with the materials that make up the moon it should be possible to determine if the hypothesis really does hold merit.
Source: Live Science | Comments (22)
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