The mother of all collisions

Credit: NASA/ DIGITAL VISION

New research led by Johns Hopkins University scientists argues that a layer of iron and other elements deep under ground is the evidence scientists have long been seeking to support the hypothesis that the moon was formed by a planetary object hitting the infant Earth some 4.5 billion years ago.

The paper is published online in the current issue of Nature Geoscience, and uses laboratory simulations of an Earth impact as evidence that a stratified layer beneath the rocky mantle—which appears in seismic data—was created when the Earth was struck by a smaller object. The authors argue this was the same impact that sent a great mass of debris hurtling into space, creating the moon. … (John Hopkins University)

Credit: NASA/ DIGITAL VISION

Credit: NASA/ DIGITAL VISION

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