The Cosmic Crash That Created Our Moon Was Crazier Than We Thought
Our moon has always inspired more questions than answers. How did this looming sphere first begin its night watch? Some ancient myths cast the Earth and moon as spouses or siblings. Others deemed it the home of the dead, or assigned deep meanings to eclipses or the turning of the tides. In the 80s, astronomers thought the moon was “captured” by Earth’s orbit. As recently as 2013, scientists were kicking around the idea that Earth actually stole the moon from Venus.
New research potentially rewrites our modern myths on the moon’s origins, as researchers put forth a new theory for how the Earth and moon started their relationship: A major impact event nearly obliterated the Earth in the solar system’s early days, and the mixed-up material left behind condensed to form our home and our one and only orbiting body.