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  • 3/14/2012

How Was The Moon Formed?


It would be accurate to say that the moon is part of the same material that forms every other celestial body in the solar system. The Earth, the other planets and the sun were all part of a massive collection of material that contracted and eventually broke up, creating the separate planets.

At one time the Earth was a large ball of very hot gas, just as the sun is today. But Earth and the other planets have cooled and changed over the years. In the Earth’s case, the cooling led to a crust-like surface covering other layers, including a still-liquid core of molten metal.

How the moon became associated with Earth is still a matter of conjecture, though there are a couple of good theories based on some solid evidence. The prime choice for how the moon was formed points to a large object of some kind striking the Earth in its infancy, sending a piece off into space.

In this theory, the loose piece stayed in contact or orbit with the Earth. According to one written theory, an object the size of one of the planets struck the Earth when it was still in a more liquid or molten state. Some of this material formed the moon, which was originally hot and molten as well. But it eventually cooled to the “dead”‌ rock we know of today.

Some doubt has been cast on the idea that the moon was formed in a way similar to other planets, with its own cooling and shaping. Evidence gathered in space exploration indicates that the moon does not have a core like the Earth’s and has the same materials as the crust and mantle of the Earth.

Electronic technology and computer technology have allowed scientists to conduct experiments that simulated what may have happened when the planets were formed and when the moon was formed from a piece of the Earth. With this new technology, some scientists have started to follow a theory that when a large object hit the young Earth, a trail of gases, dust and rock was cast off and eventually these pieces gathered to form the moon.

Some evidence gathered only in the last few years indicates that the moon contains material that is significantly different from the Earth. Scientists are trying to determine if the moon actually came from a different place in the solar system than the Earth. Some of these experiments show that the originally material that made up the moon may have been much closer to the Earth than it is now. This is sometimes attributed to the moon moving slightly in its orbit depending on the Earth’s gravity.

Some questions still remain since a few scientists feel the moon should have started in and maintained an orbit directly around the Earth’s equator. In fact, the moon’s orbit has changed since it was formed, according to most theories. While most scientists agree on some of the basic ideas about moon formation, the details have yet to be settled.

Source: thegeminigeek.com

Other links:

Why Do We Only See One Side of the Moon?

How Are Rainbows Formed?

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