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Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Moon's birthday revealed

During this time, the process of formation of the Moon is still a mystery. After going through a series of studies, some scientists finally managed to explain the theory behind when the birth of the Moon.

The Moon, our Earth's sattelite. (Picture
from: http://bit.ly/1gwELwn)
When the newborn Earth about 4.5 billion years ago, and had suffered a collision with a Mars-sized space rocks and meteorites layer covering both. Leftover debris from the collision incident is believed that formed the Moon. The researchers also believe that the Moon was born shortly after the Earth.

In the 1970s, there is an explanation of how the birth of the Moon in a presentation entitled 'Giant Impact Hypothesis,' explained that the moon was formed because there was a collision of two 'young' planets, the Earth and the object named Theia, which is also considered to be about the size of Mars. Then the Moon was born from the ruins of the two.
An artist illustration of Earth-Moon formation. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1JDTjce)
According to the presentation, Theia formed along with other planets in the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago then circled the Sun in roughly the same orbit with Earth about 60 degrees ahead or behind the Earth.

Stability in Earth orbit then interrupted because of Theia then grow beyond the maximum limit of 10 percent of the mass of the planet Earth. As a result, the force of gravity makes Theia left orbital position and is approaching the Earth and collide with each other.

According to astronomers, a collision between the Earth and Theia occurred around 4.53 billion last year, or about 30 to 50 million years after the formation of the solar system. However, from recent evidence, indicated that the collisions were happening more slowly, which is 4.48 billion years ago.
Computer simulations of a giant impact. (Picture from: http://1.usa.gov/JHV5Q0)
In the presentation also said that the Theia material is much more contained in the Moon, which is more than 60 percent. However, if viewed from the sampling rocks that taken from Moon, the components showed more similarities with the Earth.

"In terms of composition, Moon and Earth arguably almost like twins," said lead researcher Alessandra Mastrobuono-Battisti, an astrophysicist at the Israel Institute of Technology, as quoted by NBC News.

Then Alessandra and her colleagues made a collision simulation in the early solar system was made up of 85 to 90 protoplanetary where each planet contains 10 percent of Earth's mass. Not only protoplanetary, there are also thousands of tiny objects called planetesimals ie everything has 0.2 percent of the mass of Earth.

From simulations, the team found that the collision could create three to four rocky planets, with the greatest ratio of the mass of the Earth. And about 20-40 percent of the composition in the new planet is very similar to the arrangement that the composition of protoplanetary collision.

"It's very exciting because we can express the novelty of the mystery of the birth of the Moon," says team member Hagai Peretz.
And the Moon is estimated to have 1.6 billion tons of ice water and an abundance of rare elements hidden under the surface. So that a Texas-based energy company had planned to mine the huge reserves of water ice to be converted into rocket fuel in the form of hydrogen and oxygen, which will be sold to their space partner in low Earth orbit. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | JAMES MINSHALL | CNN INDONESIA]
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