Scientific Theories On Origin and Evolution of the Moon

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Where did the moon originated from?

moon evolution

Since ancient times, the moon has always attracted observers with its beauty and natural phenomena. It has been regarded as a deity by many cultures and stories have been told of its magical power. Thanks to the astronauts who visited it, that we have got to know a vast set of information about this celestial body. But scientists are still struggling with a seemingly simple question- where the moon came from? Did it broke from the sun or earth or was it roaming within the solar system before being forced to forever encircle our planet?

Our ancestors couldn’t land on the moon, but that didn’t stop them from pondering on its origin. Since the early human civilizations, many philosophers, physicists, and mathematicians have given many theories regarding the origin of the earth. Here we have given a brief compendium compiled by our physics assignment writing experts on the same:

Coaccretion Hypothesis

It was the first theory on the formation of the moon which states that both moon and earth were formed at the same time from a dislike flow of gas, dust, and plasma particles. Earth happened to pull in more cosmic materials and increased its mass. And, the increased mass of earth allowed it to develop the gravitational pull, and the moon began to orbit it. The theory ruled for a long time, but later on, scientists rejected it as it failed to explain the current angular momentum of the moon around the earth.

Fission of Earth and Moon

This theory was given by Sir George Darwin, son of naturalist Charles Darwin. He stated that in its initial stage, the earth had once spun so rapidly that chunks of materials flew from its surface. This lump of matter later condensed to form the moon. Although this theory appeared convincing as the composition of earth’s mantle and the moon was similar, it fizzled over time because scientists could not find how the earth can rotate at an unusual speed to throw off pieces of itself. Moreover, so far no such rapid spinning event on earth or themoon has been found.

Capture Theory

This theory describes that the moon was formed within the solar system but outside the earth’s gravitational pull. Some scientists of the early 20th century stated that the moon was in the control of another planet for a while before it passed close to earth and was captured within its orbit. The theory was rejected later on as it failed to explain how the earth could capture the moon to revolve in its orbit.

Giant-impact Hypothesis

The theory explained that the moon was formed by the violent collision of a Mars-sized planet called Theia with earth. It states that Theia was made up of  weaker material than earth. Thus when the collision occurred, earth remained intact, and Theia broke into many pieces. The biggest lump started revolving around the earth due to its gravitational pull. The theory was aborted because both earth and moon are made up of similar elements (silicon and oxygen, in particular) that too in similar concentrations.

Theia’s Impact Produces a “Synestia”

Some scientists stated that the young proto-Earth collapsed with Theia with such a force that both celestial bodies vaporized and a strange rotating bagel-shaped cloud called synestia could have been created by the impact. They argued that over time, the material on the outside of the synestia coalesced into the moon, while the rest of the material consolidated into earth.

A Collision of Two Like Bodies

As per this theory, both Theia and earth struck each other, but there was no scenario of vaporization, and the debris from the phenomena still coalesced to form the moon. Scientists say that both Theia and earth formed on opposite sides of the same accretion disk(a huge mass of cosmic gases and particles). Later, something caused the Theia’s orbit to drift away from its original location, and ultimately banged the earth.

Although we have traveled to the moon and studied about its composition, atmosphere, and how it impacts the climatic conditions on our planet, when it comes to the question that how it was created, we only have some theories and hypothesis in hand. And, the truth is still unknown.

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