Since the 1970´s scientist have tried to prove the hypothesis illustrating Earth as the result of a two-planet collision. A new study funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) suggests Earth is made up of two planets, considering a possible fusion between planet Earth and planet Theia.
NASA researchers claim that the Moon, Earth’s natural satellite, could be the result of a brutal collision around 4.5 billion years ago. Although this groundbreaking hypothesis has been around since the 70´s, scientists are still undecided regarding the origin and nature of the clash.
According to a study made by Science Magazine in 2014, researchers dismissed any link between the Moon and Earth due to inconsistent oxygen isotopes ratios. Studies involving moon rocks gathered by Apollo 12, 15 and 17 missions gave German scientists much to analyze.
However, a comparison between Earth’s volcanic rocks and lunar rocks made by NASA confirmed they belonged to the same planet. The study confirms that the Moon is the result of a cataclysmic collision occurred 4.5 billion years ago. Planet Theia´s chronicle, as mysterious and interesting as it may be, holds the key to understand how Earth’s was created.
A relatively recent study also claims the possibility fro Theia to be almost a twin to Earth, giving the researchers reason to believe these two planets got mixed together. Still, there’s much data left to recover in order to figure out how these events took place billions of years ago.
Edward Young, lead author of this new study confirmed, ¨We don’t see difference between the Earth’s and the moon’s oxygen isotopes; they’re undistinguishable,” he continued by saying, “Theia was thoroughly mixed in both the Earth and the Moon, and evenly dispersed between them. This explains why we don’t see a different signature of Theia in the Moon versus Earth”
This would mean that not only Theia crashed into Earth forming one mixed planet, but would also mean Theia is still here on Earth. Science Alert study, published on January 29 titled “Oxygen isotopic evidence for vigorous mixing during the Moon-forming giant impact” describes the findings:
“If Theia simply side-swiped Earth and produced the Moon, as previously predicted, The Moon would be made up mainly of Theia and Earth and Moon rocks would have different oxygen isotope ratios. But this wasn’t the case.”
The lead author of this study, Edward Young and his team have sufficient evidence to claim that the planetary embryo was the same size of Earth. While the NASA researchers continue to try reconstructing the planetary collision, it’s worth noticing that Earth endured an impact from another planet. As impressive as it may sound, another planet was completely totaled when collided with Earth, while getting the moon created in the process.
Source: Science Alert