The moon may have been formed in the "cosmic donut" of Earth's shattered remains, which would upend our lunar theories if true.
As it turns out, the moon may have formed within a “cosmic donut” that was made of the obliterated remains of a collision between Earth and another planet eons ago, a new paper suggests. And if such findings are confirmed, it would represent a huge shift in our understand of not only our moon, but also of the Earth and of the formation of planets in general.
Conventional wisdom among scientists holds that billions of years ago, a planet about the size of Mars collided with Earth, and that resulted in throwing off material that eventually formed into our moon. But this new paper claims that the collision may have totally destroyed the Earth and blasted it into tiny pieces, which left a giant doughtnut-shaped cloud known as a synestia.
The moon may have formed within this chaos, scientists theorize. If true, it would force the scientific world to move away from the Theia theory, which already had problems due to the fact that the moon is very similar to the Earth in many respects as far as its chemistry and makeup.
“The new work explains features of the Moon that are hard to resolve with current ideas,” said Sarah Stewart, professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at UC Davis. “The Moon is chemically almost the same as the Earth, but with some differences,” she said. “This is the first model that can match the pattern of the Moon’s composition.”