How was the moon formed?



  1. 0 Votes

    By using samples of lunar rocks, it is estimated that the moon formed 4.527 billion years ago, which is about 30-50 million years after the formation of the solar system. There are many different theories about how it formed, including the idea that the earth and the moon formed at the same time because of centrifugal force. The prevailing explanation in the scientific community is that the moon formed from a giant impact, in which a Mars-sized body hit the newly formed Earth, which blasted the moon into orbit around it.

  2. 0 Votes

    There are a few theories being proposed.

    -The fission hypothesis states that the early Earth may have been spinning very very fast during its early formation, causing a large piece of the Earth’s crust to break off and remain inside the Earth’s orbit.  However, the moon would have to be orbiting the Earth exactly on the Earth’s orbital plane for this theory to be true.  Thus, this theory is most likely untrue.

    -Capture hypothesis proposes that the moon was formed somewhere else in the solar system and was captured by Earth’s gravitational pull.  This theory runs into problems when you consider the fact that the early Earth would have to have a very, very dense atmosphere for this theory to be true.

    -The co-formation hypothesis makes the case that the Earth and the moon formed together, and that the moon has been orbiting the Earth since.  However, for this to be true, the moon and the Earth would most likely have to have the same chemical makeup and consistency.  The moon is deficient in iron.  Also, we’ve dated the formation of the moon as being a hundred million years later than the formation of the Earth.

    -The giant impact hypothesis is the theory most widely accepted today.  Scientists speculate that a Mars-sized object crashed into the Earth and sent a massive amount of debris from the crash into orbit around the Earth.  This debris eventually settled and formed the moon.  This would explain why the moon is made of lighter elements than the Earth; heavier elements would have been able to withstand the impact.

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