The Moon is essential for the existence of life on Earth, as it keeps the axis of rotation stable, a trait that plays an important role in the balance between climate and seasons.
While researchers know a lot about the origin of Earth, the origin of the Moon had remained elusive. A popular theory argues that the Moon formed when a massive body, on par with the size of Mars, crashed into the upper crust of Earth, which contains a low amount of metals.
However, new data seems to contradict this theory as the subsurface of the Moon seems to contain a larger amount of metals that it was previously thought. A mixed team of researchers from several institutions employed complex scientific tools to scan and analyze the dust, which can be found on the bottom of lunar craters.
While researchers already know that a significant amount of iron oxides can be found on the Moon, the new study is focused on a region that hasn’t been explored in-depth in the past, and it is believed that higher concentrations of metals can be found in the area.
Exploring alternate theories
The fact a higher concentration of metals is present on the Moon in comparison to Earth seems to disprove the theory that it was once a part of Earth’s crust before being forced into orbit in the aftermath of a massive impact. It is possible that the impact between Theia and Earth in its early stage may have caused more damage, unearthing a larger portion that was pushed into orbit.
By learning more about the concentration of metals that can be found on the Moon, scientists can create and pursue better, more accurate theories as the possibility for speculation is reduced. More information can be found in the study, which has been published in a scientific journal.