New research cast doubts on accepted Moon origins theory

New research cast doubts on accepted Moon origins theory

In the new research, published online today in Nature Geoscience, geochemists led by Junjun Zhang at the University of Chicago in Illinois, together with her colleague at the University of Bern in Switzerland, looked at titanium isotopes in 24 separate samples of lunar rock and soil.

Accepted theory

Most scientists believe Earth collided with a hypothetical, Mars-sized planet called Theia early in its existence, and the resulting smash-up produced a disc of magma orbiting our planet that later coalesced to form the moon. This is called the giant impact hypothesis. Computer models indicate that, for the collision to remain consistent with the laws of physics, at least 40% of the magma would have had to come from Theia.

New research

But, research led by Junjun Zhang and his colleagues reported that a large part of the material that makes up the Moon came from the early Earth. Their findings are in contradiction to numerical models of the formation of the Moon by the impact of a Mars-sized object with the early Earth.

Junjun Zhang and colleagues compared the isotopic signature of titanium in lunar and terrestrial samples, and corrected the lunar signature for secondary alterations associated with exposure to cosmic rays.

They used a mass spectrometer to make the most precise measurement so far of the relative abundance of titanium-50 and titanium-47 in Moon rocks gathered by the Apollo missions in the 1970s.

They found that the isotopic titanium signature of the Earth is identical to that of the Moon within about four parts per million. Because the Mars-sized impactor is expected to have been isotopically different, the measurements suggest that the Moon is either made of material from Earth’s mantle, or that intense mixing occurred after the impact.

Zhang explains that it's unlikely Earth could have exchanged titanium gas with the magma disk because titanium has a very high boiling point. "The oxygen isotopic composition would be very easily homogenized because oxygen is much more volatile, but we would expect homogenizing titanium to be very difficult."

Other theories

Other models that merit consideration, Zhang says, include the fission model, according to which the Moon was spun out of Earth’s mantle early on, when the planet’s centrifugal force might have exceeded its gravitational force.

One other possibility is that a glancing blow from a passing body left Earth spinning so rapidly that it threw some of itself off into space like a shot put, forming the disk that coalesced into the moon. This would explain why the moon seems to be made entirely of Earth material. But there are problems with this model, too, such as the difficulty of explaining where all the extra angular momentum went after the moon formed, and the researchers aren't claiming to have refuted the giant impact hypothesis.

“Our study cannot provide a definite answer to the origin of the Moon yet,” says Zhang. “The message we hope to convey is that isotopic homogeneity between the Earth and Moon is a fundamental new constraint on the evolution of the Earth–Moon system.”



Aurimas 8 years ago

Anyone heard about Vasin-Scherbakov (two former USSR scientists) moon theory?

Philip Bruce Heywood 8 years ago

The origin of the moon was getting obvious even before APOLLO. The darwinist scientists with heads in a pickle jar and minds in a rut, were lost when the need arose to come to a conclusion. Hence, some people go so far as to suggest APOLLO was a hoax. In fact, APOLLO results align with the Holy Bible and until the scientists get their heads out of pickle jars, they will look more and more ridiculous. Anyone interested in the geology and the chemistry, might glance at -- or look on GOOGLE for Common Donnor Moon Capture. The moon has been captured, and these titanium isotopes are just one more proof. Check the Aubrite meteorite angle for example -- same isotopy as Earth and Moon, most likely originate from Mercury. Mercury was the donor. Sticks out like a sore thumb.

Drivin67 8 years ago

Edge-a-ma-kate ya self. Why dont you know all the points from both sides of the moon landing hoax or the base on the dark side of the moon? 2001 National Press Club Conference by The Disclosure Project as was sponsored by a person from the White House is a good place to start. Doesn't get more official than that. The truth will set ya free....

nanoduck 8 years ago

To the people who doubt the moon landing: Why don't you ask Buzz Aldrin? He probably would punch you in the face if you I think that they forgot to include the Creator factor in the formation of moon. It is impossible for everything in our universe to form into organized structures (everything from galaxies to atoms) without some active creative force that can direct all energies in the universe to rearrange and form structures. Perhaps a massive body did hit the earth early in its formative stage, but instead of a ring of debris around the earth, the moon took shape due to God's creative energies. Well, we will never know for sure...for all we know, this God might have simply said "Make it so." and it was so.

grant 8 years ago

Does nobody watch mythbusters? Revisit their 'lunar landings myths' show(s)... The Truth is out there-- And--when I went to gradeschool (back when tailfins were all the rage) they taught us Earth got hit by a HUGE Ni-Fe meteor(ite); it a) formed our molten-iron core, giving us our protective mag-field, b) knocked us 23-odd degrees out of kilter, and c) knocked a big chunk loose (think of that desktop ball-toy; action-reaction. Google Newton...) that became the moon. Nothin' new under the sun, kids, 'cept more of the most common substance in the Universe (the stuff outmasses hydrogen by a cube-factor these days, don't it?) Oh, well; nobody's insisted it's green cheese, yet, so progress is, I suppose (sigh)... G.

sigma6 8 years ago

it should have read: 'New' Research proves 'moon' rocks are just earth rocks: I wonder how much these guys got paid, and then the kicker was the equally dubious 'other possible theories' that equally reek... and to think they have been spending millions of dollars for decades to feed us this 'sh**'

Zefron 8 years ago

What if the sample that was said to have come from the moon actually came from the earth, because of the space race, it is said and supporting evidence the USA never actually went to the Moon it is suspected from some scientists that for a human being to survive the radiation levels out side the Earth atmosphere , they would need a lead space suit 6" thick to shield them from the radiation-s in outer space!!! so did any one ever go to the moon and can you trust the sample said to have come from the Moon???

Ashtar 8 years ago

Could it be that the rocks were never taken from the moon in the first place?

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