New supercomputer simulation suggests the Moon may have formed in mere hours, not months...

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,445   +170
Staff member
In brief: The Moon is a staple in the night sky, but have you ever stopped to consider how it came to be? Researchers have been asking this question for decades and a new simulation adds an interesting wrinkle to the debate.

One leading theory suggests ancient Earth was hit by an object called Theia that was roughly the size of Mars. It was previously believed that debris from the collision came together in orbit over months or years to create our satellite.

The new simulations were run at the highest resolution of any sim used to study the Moon's origins and suggest the offshoot could have been forms in a matter of hours after impact. The higher-res sims also surfaced new behaviors and details that simply were not evident with lower resolution models.

Vincent Eke, a researcher at Durham University who helped co-author the study, said the more we learn about how the Moon came to be, the more we discover about the evolution of the Earth. Lunar rock samples have very similar isotopic signatures to rocks here on Earth, suggesting material that makes up the Moon could have originated here.

Theia could have also been isotopically similar to Earth, but it would be an unlikely coincidence. The new simulation provides a plausible explanation as to why the isotopic signatures are so similar and could also explain other quirks like the Moon's tiled orbit and its thin crust.

Jacob Kegerreis, a postdoctoral researcher at NASA's Ames Research Center and lead researcher of the study, said the simulations open up a whole new range of possible starting places for the Moon's evolution. Or, it could just be a hollow, artificial structure brought here by someone else for an unknown purpose.

The team's paper has been published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

NASA said additional analysis of future lunar samples, like those scheduled to be brought back from Artemis missions, will help narrow down which theories about the Moon's origin are correct.

Image credit: Michele Raffoni

Permalink to story.

 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 1,012   +1,847
..or someone may have put a decimal point in the wrong place when inputting the simulation data

:)
bb237e3e-1f27-443b-a4a2-3baad52e854f_text.gif
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 2,058   +1,278
..or someone may have put a decimal point in the wrong place when inputting the simulation data

:)
Really think that wasn't the first thing they checked? Or the first thing everyone else is going to check during the peer review process that happens on the way to publishing? Or the first thing that everyone is now checking again now that the results are published?

Not really, James Web has been showing a lot of simulations and theories are incorrect. I don't have much faith in them as a scientist, it's mostly speculation and guesswork.
1. Which theories are incorrect?
2. That is the way science works. You fit the theory to the data, not the other way around. As you get better at measuring and collating data, you replace or refine theories to fit the data.
 

R00sT3R

Posts: 744   +2,303
Really think that wasn't the first thing they checked? Or the first thing everyone else is going to check during the peer review process that happens on the way to publishing? Or the first thing that everyone is now checking again now that the results are published?

Remember the NASA Mars probe that failed because no one noticed the difference between Metic & Imperial measurements used when programming the landing software, despite it going through numerous, rigorous peer review checks by the smartest people on the Planet...
 

Hodor

Posts: 230   +165
Remember the NASA Mars probe that failed because no one noticed the difference between Metic & Imperial measurements used when programming the landing software, despite it going through numerous, rigorous peer review checks by the smartest people on the Planet...


"Okay, let's see, 12 inches + 5 centimeters = 17 inches. Everyone agrees? Okay, sending to production".
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 2,058   +1,278
Remember the NASA Mars probe that failed because no one noticed the difference between Metic & Imperial measurements used when programming the landing software, despite it going through numerous, rigorous peer review checks by the smartest people on the Planet...
Code reviews != peer reviews.
 

ubronan

Posts: 73   +16
This is an absolute more realistic scenario than the previous ones
Sure it is all a very long time ago but to me this looks really how I expected it to have happened
The time frame is difficult to guess as we do not know how fast the molten mass was revolving at that time as it could be possible that alot of mass could have been lost as well.
To me this is more realistic than all other theories before, but we never will know how it really took place :D.
For me this is the first realistic view on this difficult matter.
Is it the answer nope we never will know for sure, but this is clearly closer to what happened to the ultra HOT MASS, we must keep wondering did the mass had already a gravity pull or not.
BTW known scientist are often thiefs which runs with the ideas of other peoples his/hers theory, as I found out about after I deduced that the only solution of the dinosaur drama could have been caused by a meteor
I was so stupid to let it loose in a chat with lots of these so called smart people where in that channel.
We where also having heated discussions about the vulcanic eruptions on the globe, and how to find a way to see if it would become a global catastrofic event.
As there where some global events which where asumed to have an enormous impact on the planet, which turned out not even being close to something scary or spectacular.
Sure it where for sure a vulcanic event but much smaller than they made it to be in the news
While the nasty ones who make it impossible to fly seems never to be predicted untill it is too late.
Now he is seen/claimed as the great man who found it himself.
For me known scientist are never to be trusted EVER again.
And most of them are really not that great at all as they usually walk away with project their students found.
So big names in science are often not that great at all, and more often than not just put flawed theories as the truth.
 
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JamesBlond

Posts: 190   +137
It was formed in a matter of seconds... "And God said...." no boom, just a "Single spoken Sentence" Uni 1
verse "sentance"