New research confirms moon formation theory

For hundreds of years, people have been looking at the sky, observing the stars and the moon. However, it was only since the 16th century that the natural satellite received further scientific analysis. Various theories have been developed in an attempt to explain its origins. Recent research seems to confirm one theory. Researchers from the Federal Polytechnic University in Zurich found that the moon received noble gases from the Earth. this is The discovery supports one theory.

Scientists believe that z Another planet Theia collided with the young Earth (about 4.5 billion years ago)Which was the size of Mars. However, it was not a central effect, causing the outer layer of the Earth’s surface to detach and be thrown into space. The moon was to form.

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The lack of a protective atmosphere on the Moon allows asteroids to bombard its surface constantly. One of these high-energy impacts launched moon rock fragments toward Earth, where they fell in the form of meteorites.

Scientists have sampled meteorites from the Sahara and the icy deserts of Antarctica. was among them Helium and neon signatures (isotopes) From inside the moon. “Finding solar gases for the first time in basalt materials from the Moon that are not associated with any surface exposure was an exciting result,” says Patricia Weil, a researcher in Zurich.

The research was possible thanks to a very sensitive device – a noble gas mass spectrometer aptly named Tom Dooley. Scientists say it’s so sensitive that it’s the only instrument on Earth capable of detecting such low concentrations helium and neon. The quantities detected in rocks of lunar origin turned out to be higher than expected.

Currently, the moon is a cold rocky ball. However, in its early days, hot magma spilled onto the surface to form new rock. Some lava fragments froze so quickly that the minerals did not have time to crystallize and form obsidian (volcanic glass) where small amounts of noble gases were sealed from the inside. After its formation, successive layers of magma began to cover the rock, protecting, among other things, against the solar wind.

Source: P. Will, H. Busemann, MEI Riebe, C. Maden, 2022, Indiginal Noble Gases in the Moon’s Interior, Science Advances. DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.abl4920

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