Putting light the formation of the Moon, a group of scientists from the University of Maryland generated a new isotope-based fingerprint of the Earth’s satellite suggesting that both our planet and its Moon were formed from the same alien body.
The isotopic fingerprint is the geological equivalent of a fingerprint of DNA.
So far, the astronomers and planetary science experts have believed that a massive body approximately the size of red planet ‘Mars’ struck and merged with the Earth within the first 150 million years of the formation of our solar system, triggering explosion of a huge cloud of debris and rock into the space.
According to the scientists, this cloud ultimately combined together and led to the formation of the Moon.
Richard Walker, study co-author and a geology professor, said, “Both Earth and Moon are very similar to each other with respect to their isotopic fingerprints. This suggests that they both are ultimately formed from the same material that gathered early in the history of our solar system.”
Walker called the findings surprising as the Mars-sized celestial body behind the creation of the Moon is likely to have been very different.
“So the conundrum is that both celestial bodies should not be as similar as they are,” he asserted.
The results support the idea that the mass of a material created due to the impact, which later led to the formation of the Moon, should have mixed together wholly before the Earth’s satellite coalesced and cooled.
The study also rules out the idea that the red planet-sized body shared similar composition, or that it was the pre-impact Earth that led to the formation of the Moon.
Concluding the study, the research authors said, “The findings bring us a step closer to better understanding the close familial relationship between the Moon and the Earth. We still require to work out the details… However, it is clear that our early solar system was a very violent place.”
The findings of the study were published in the journal Nature.