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Earth may have stolen its moon from Venus

Posted on Friday, 4 October, 2013 | Comment icon 21 comments

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 (21)

Tags: Earth, Moon, Venus

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Saitung on 4 October, 2013, 22:53
Ha ha ha, I love this as it means Science has no idea where the moon came from, AND, that it did not form or get here naturally from earth's vicinity. (Natural from a Cosmological point of view)
Comment icon #13 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 on 5 October, 2013, 4:04
That's not at all what it means.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Rlyeh on 5 October, 2013, 7:42
^ this means you didn't understand it's one guy's hypothesis.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Frank Merton on 5 October, 2013, 9:38
Why don't you look it up? Science has a pretty good idea how we got the moon, well backed by the study of moon rocks and so on, and it was not from Venus and also not created.
Comment icon #16 Posted by spacecowboy342 on 5 October, 2013, 14:18
That is very well as long as you realize liking an idea doesn't give it any more validity. I'm not sure that this idea will ever be anything more than conjecture. There is a good hypothesis already to explain the formation of the moon. Venus must have been impacted by something large in the past to give it it's slow reverse rotation and it might be possible that matter could have been ejected into space to form the moon and be captured by the earth, but the current theory seems much simpler and, at least to my mind more likely. Perhaps in the future more evidence might be found to... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by spacecowboy342 on 5 October, 2013, 15:48
The main problem with the idea of the earth capturing an already formed moon from elsewhere seems to be that computer models show it either crashing into earth or being flung out into space
Comment icon #18 Posted by joz48 on 5 October, 2013, 16:47
What someone nicked our moon from venus.......get real....if that was the case they'd need a transit van the size mars just to pull it back here. How dumb do you think we are.......everyone knows transits don't come any bigger than pluto.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Kaa-Tzik on 6 October, 2013, 10:28
Supporters of Velikovski still trying to paint him as a "great scientist"
Comment icon #20 Posted by Somethings Not Right on 9 October, 2013, 2:11
Isn't the Moon moving away from us at the rate of one & a half to 2 & a half inches a year.. So it looks like we're losing our gravity or Venus is indeed stealing our moon!
Comment icon #21 Posted by spacecowboy342 on 9 October, 2013, 2:18
We aren't losing our gravity nor is Venus stealing our moon. The earth rotates faster than the moon orbits, The moon cause a bulge to rise in the earth and since the earth rotates faster this bulge gets ahead of the moon and tidal forces cause a slingshot effect on the moon making it speed up slightly and drift a little farther from the earth every revolution. The same effect also slows the earths rotation slightly

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