The origin of our moon has long been debated.
Now, a scientist has claimed that Earth effectively ‘gave birth’ to the moon four-and-a-half billion years ago.
A controversial new theory has been proposed that a giant explosion equivalent to 40 billion atomic bombs originating from the Earth’s core somehow led to the formation of the moon.
Planetary scientist Wim van Westrenen believes this violent event took place approximately four-and-a-half billion years ago and could answer the hotly contested question of where our moon comes from.
The scientist, from VU University in Amsterdam, told New Scientist magazine that previous explanations about how the moon came to be simply do not add up.
Charles Darwin’s son, astronomer George Darwin, proposed that the early Earth spun so fast that it fell apart, hurling a part of itself into space that became the moon.
His theory was popular but was then eclipsed by the giant impact hypothesis, or ‘big splat’, which said that a Mars-sized object crashed into an infant Earth and shattered on impact, the magazine reported.
In this theory, the debris formed the moon. However, it was largely thrown-out when astronauts brought back rocks from the Apollo moon landings.
Chemical analysis of the rocks last year by the University of Chicago found that they shared identical oxygen, silicon and potassium isotopes with Earth, hinting that the Moon shares its origin with the Earth.
Van Westeren said that taken at face value, the findings suggest that the moon was once part of the Earth that was blasted into space by an enormous explosion from the Earth’s fiery core.