The Moon is a blend of multiple moonlets: study

The Moon is a blend of multiple moonlets: study

Earth's Moon is not a single rock but a blend of multiple moonlets, a new study led by planetary scientist Raluca Rufu of Israel's Weizman Institute of Science suggested.

According to the new study, the silently serene Moon was formed as a result of merger of a number small moonlets or disks of planetary debris produced by multiple objects' collision with Earth.

Rufu and colleagues estimated that nearly two dozen Moon-to-Mars-size objects hit our planet, and the debris created in the process started revolving around the planet. That disk of debris gradually accreted to create moonlets that finally merged to produce today's Moon.

Sharing findings of their study, Rufu said, "The multiple-impact scenario is a more natural way of explaining the formation of the moon. In the early stages of the solar system, impacts were very abundant; therefore, it is more natural that several common impactors formed the moon, rather than one special one."

Our solar system was essentially a shooting gallery in its first few million years of its formation. The era, called the heavy bombardment period, was characterized by all types of debris causing all manner of collisions. It was quite inevitable our planet to get hit innumerable times during that era.

The new theory challenges the most rampant theory of the formation of our only natural satellite, which suggests that Mars-sized planet, called Theia, collided with Earth, leading to the formation of the Moon.


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