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Traces of another planet found on the Moon

Posted on Friday, 6 June, 2014 | Comment icon 71 comments

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)

Tags: Moon, Planet, Earth, Theia

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #62 Posted by Emma_Acid on 17 June, 2014, 13:35
My point was 20km is the extreme end of the scale. No, because as you point out the physics are the same. So we can safely assume that comets in other systems are the same size, and planets of a similar distribution and composition. What you're suggesting doesn't seem to have any realistic basis in this star system, so neither should it anywhere else. I don't know why you're fixating on this idea of comets creating moons when its so unfeasible?
Comment icon #63 Posted by taniwha on 18 June, 2014, 8:51
Estimates of Hale Bops nucleus is between 40 to 70 km. Or it may be counted as larger if it has a satellite nucleus. Obviously feasibility increases as data is updated.
Comment icon #64 Posted by Frank Merton on 18 June, 2014, 8:57
It strikes me that the size differences being talked about are several orders of magnitude, not just a small multiple.
Comment icon #65 Posted by Emma_Acid on 18 June, 2014, 10:30
Actually Hale-Bopp was . The 70km claim was theoretical and not based on actual observation. Either way - even if it was 70km this is nowhere near the 400km you were talking about previously. The data needed to make your comet-moon scenario simply doesn't exist.
Comment icon #66 Posted by taniwha on 18 June, 2014, 11:12
The important part being... Before 1997 a Hale Bop size comet was not concieved of. If big exists maybe bigger exists. Of course Hale Bop may simply be the biggest. But i am happy to leave it as a hypothetical speculation and nothing more.
Comment icon #67 Posted by Frank Merton on 18 June, 2014, 11:19
Taniwah, you really are a glutton for punishment. Might I suggest putting your speculations in the form of questions, such as, "Is this possible . . .?"
Comment icon #68 Posted by taniwha on 18 June, 2014, 11:38
Comment icon #69 Posted by Emma_Acid on 18 June, 2014, 11:43
No, the important is:
Comment icon #70 Posted by Harte on 18 June, 2014, 11:47
The original topic was "traces of another world found on the Moon," not "traces of a comet found on the Moon." Harte

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