The collision occurred 4.5 billion years ago. Image Credit: NASA / Joe Tucciarone
New evidence seems to confirm that the Earth was once impacted by a planet known as Theia.
It has long been believed that the Moon came in to being when a large planetary body struck the Earth billions of years ago and now scientists believe that they've found the clearest evidence yet that this event actually took place.
Traces of another planet have been found within the samples of lunar rock brought back by the astronauts during the Apollo Moon landings, a world that has been nicknamed Theia after the Goddess of Greek mythology.
This early world would have disintegrated on impact, with some of the material coalescing to form the Moon and the rest becoming part of the Earth.
"It was getting to the stage where some people were suggesting that the collision had not taken place," said lead researcher Dr Daniel Herwartz. "But we have now discovered small differences between the Earth and the Moon. This confirms the giant impact hypothesis."
Source: BBC News | Comments (71)
Moon, Planet, Earth, Theia