Astronomy Physics

Textbook theory of moon’s origin is challenged

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File:GRAIL's gravity map of the moon.jpg
gravity map of Moon/NASA

From Rebecca Boyle at Quanta:

Textbooks say that the moon was formed after a Mars-size mass smashed the young Earth. But new evidence has cast doubt on that story, leaving researchers to dream up new ways to get a giant rock into orbit.

In the past five years, a bombardment of studies has exposed a problem: The canonical giant impact hypothesis rests on assumptions that do not match the evidence. If Theia hit Earth and later formed the moon, the moon should be made of Theia-type material. But the moon does not look like Theia — or like Mars, for that matter. Down to its atoms, it looks almost exactly like Earth.

Confronted with this discrepancy, lunar researchers have sought new ideas for understanding how the moon came to be. More.

With so much uncertainty about textbook truths, let’s hope that this field is not assailed, as evolution is, by the Tone Deaf, whose mission is to Stamp Out Doubt and whose likely success will consist of convincing people that truth is not to be had anywhere.

See also:

Space.com: Scientists finally know how old Moon is What’s surprising, really, is how little we know about the moon in general.

Another moon origin theory: Epic crash

How the Moon Formed: 5 Wild Lunar Theories (Mike Wall at Space.com, 2014)

Our moon formed in collision with embryo planet?

and

Origin of the moon still shrouded in mystery

3 Replies to “Textbook theory of moon’s origin is challenged

  1. 1
    vmahuna says:

    From the article itself:

    “The second possibility is that the impact process thoroughly mixed everything, homogenizing disparate clumps and liquids the way pancake batter comes together.”

    Although of course this “homogenizing” managed to give ALL of the pair’s original Iron to Earth and form the ENTIRE Moon out of crust. It’s critical that Earth lost a large portion of its original crust so that the New Earth’s crust was thin enough to moveable crustal plates.

    So, the 2 original bodies must have formed in roughly the same neighborhood from the Sun to share the same isotope mix. And after they formed, they collided. If the Moon formed independently and never collided with Earth, then the Moon would have an Iron core, just like Earth. Etc.

    I don’t see anything really new here. It just means that the “creation” of Terra and Luna was even MORE improbable than first guessed. I mean, it kinda looks like Somebody REALLY wanted this pair to exist, exactly were it is now, with exactly the differences in geology and of course with Luna exactly large enough for humans to stare in wonder at Luna’s changing phases and the terrifying but predictable Eclipse. Eclipses on Mars aren’t anywhere near as exciting

  2. 2
    rvb8 says:

    vmahuna,

    so you reach for Genesis when science has a conumdrum?

    In your third paragraph you make a completely unsubstantiated claim. You say the moon would have an iron core if it formed independently of the Earth. My question; why would the moon have an ‘iron core’ if it formed independently of the Earth?

    Other planets and satellites have crusts and cores of other elements, and molecules, they formed independently of the Earth, why aren’t their cores all iron too?

    Your confidence in posting is breathtaking. I don’t know why the scientists don’t just go to you?

    Your fourth para starts; ‘I don’t see anything new here..’

    Wonderful! Please read everything in future and leave little ‘post its’, on each article so I can sift through what is good, mediocre, and worst of all to you, evidence based.

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    “With so much uncertainty about textbook truths, let’s hope that this field is not assailed, as evolution is, by the Tone Deaf, whose mission is to Stamp Out Doubt and whose likely success will consist of convincing people that truth is not to be had anywhere.”

    Pontius Pilate asked “What is truth?” but did not wait for the answer to such a fundamental question.

    Truth does not matter to those who, like Pontius Pilate, are motivated by expediency.

    Likewise, truth does not matter to skeptics who have despaired of knowing it.

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