PUBLISHED: 22:38, Sat, Sep 19, 2020 | UPDATED: 22:38, Sat, Sep 19, 2020
A landmark new NASA study has potentially answered an age-old question - what made the Moon? The groundbreaking study examined lunar rock, which added to evidence to the increasingly-mainstream theory hypothesising the Moon was created after planets smashed into a nascent, molten Earth eons ago.
Dr Justin Simon, a NASA planetary scientist, said in a statement: “There is a huge difference between the modern elemental makeup of the Earth and Moon and we wanted to know why.
Now, we know that the Moon was very different from the start, and it is probably because of the ‘Giant Impact’ theory
Dr Justin Simon
“Now, we know that the Moon was very different from the start, and it is probably because of the ‘Giant Impact’ theory.”
Space scientists have long-argued about exactly how the Moon was created.
But the Giant Impact theory, suggests early Earth was hit by another emerging planet called Theia.
Space news: NASA has revealed a planetary pair collided to form the Moon (Image: NASA)
Space news: Wayne Buckley (left) and Justin Simon (right) conducting experiments in an astromaterials lab (Image: NASA)
The collision caused both planets to briefly shatter into globs of gas, magma, and chemical elements before reforming into the Earth and Moon we know today.
The study by the researchers lends more weight to confirms the theory.
The research team uncovered evidence supporting the collision theory after an attempt to understand the chemical discrepancies between Earth and Moon rock.
The lunar samples originated from rocks originally obtained by NASA’s iconic Apollo missions and saved for future research.
Space news: Wayne Buckley conducts research on the Moon in a laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center (Image: NASA)