Moon and Earth may be the Same Age, Study Suggests

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Moon and Earth may be the Same Age, Study Suggests LADEE Above Lunar Sunset Artist’s Concept (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/FLICKR) with CC (2.0, BY)

A group of researchers suggested that the Earth and its lone moon are just the same age. They also proposed a new theory that explains the moon’s origin.

The new study suggests that multiple cosmic objects as big as Mars collided with Earth, leaving debris surrounding the planet. After several decades, these fragments formed to create the Moon that we know today.

Single vs Multiple-Impact Hypotheses

The theory claimed that the cosmic objects numbered to around 20 before it hit the Earth around the same time the pro-Earth was formed. This resulted to a new theory called the multiple-impact hypothesis, as published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The multiple-impact hypothesis challenges the conventional theory still being taught in schools today: the birth of our planet’s lone satellite. Most experts agree that a single impact was responsible in the formation of the moon, science website Space reported.

Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel astronomer Raluca Rufu told Space that the multiple-impact hypothesis offers more logical explanation behind the moon’s birth. They claim that it’s more natural than the conventional single-impact hypothesis.

The Birth of Earth’s Moon

“The multiple-impact scenario is a more natural way of explaining the formation of the moon. In the early stages of the solar system, impacts were very abundant; therefore, it is more natural that several common impactors formed the moon, rather than one special one,” Rufu was quoted as saying by Space.

Rufu argued that the object that collided with our planet has to be the same size as Earth to create a Moon with similar composition. The composition of the present-day Moon offers clues to its origin, Rufu’s study claimed.

If the object that hit Earth is another object, then the Moon’s composition would be different from Earth’s. Evidence suggests that the Moon and Earth’s composition are closely similar. According to Rufu’s team, this proves that the giant-impact theory is no longer feasible.

Scientists estimate that the solar system was formed around billions of years ago. The Moon, on the other hand, was formed 100 million years later.

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