Leftovers From The Moon’s Formation May Have Tunnelled To The Earth’s Core
The origin of our moon has long been debated.
Now, a scientist has claimed that Earth effectively ‘gave birth‘ to the moon four-and-a-half billion years ago.
A controversial new theory has been proposed that a giant explosion equivalent to 40 billion atomic bombs originating from the Earth’s core somehow led to the formation of the moon.
Planetary scientist Wim van Westrenen believes this violent event took place approximately four-and-a-half billion years ago and could answer the hotly contested question of where our moon comes from.
The scientist, from VU University in Amsterdam said that previous explanations about how the moon came to be simply do not add up.
Charles Darwin’s son, astronomer George Darwin, proposed that the early Earth spun so fast that it fell apart, hurling a part of itself into space that became the moon.
His theory was popular but was then eclipsed by the giant impact hypothesis, or ‘big splat‘, which said that a Mars-sized object crashed into an infant Earth and shattered on impact, the magazine reported.
In this theory, the debris formed the moon. However, it was largely thrown-out when astronauts brought back rocks from the Apollo moon landings.
Chemical analysis of the rocks last year by the University of Chicago found that they shared identical oxygen, silicon and potassium isotopes with Earth, hinting that the Moon shares its origin with the Earth.
Van Westeren said that taken at face value, the findings suggest that the moon was once part of the Earth that was blasted into space by an enormous explosion from the Earth’s fiery core.
To do this, he believes that there must have been a ‘massive energy kick‘ delivered quickly and he calculates that the explosion was the strength of 40 billion atomic bombs the size of those dropped on Hiroshima.
The idea that the Earth’s core harbours a huge nuclear reactor has been around for over 60 years.
There is also evidence of much smaller natural fossil reactors up to 10 metres across in West Africa that were active around 10 billion years ago.
This theory of an internal nuclear reactor could explain why Earth gives out more energy than it receives from the sun.
However, experts have said that even if evidence of “global georeactors” was found, many scientists would need convincing that they were capable of creating the moon.
There are many conflicting ideas of exactly how the moon came to be and scientists are starting to re-question older theories.
Matija Cuk, a planetary scientist at Harvard University said: “I don’t think you can separate the moon’s formation from a giant impact.”
But he draws upon Darwin’s idea and the big splat and believes that a peculiar alignment of the sun, earth and moon is the reason why the moon orbits the Earth.
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