A lot of discussion surrounds the creation of the Moon. According to a widely accepted theory, the Moon formed from a large amount of debris left over from a collision between the Earth and a planet the size of Mars when the Earth was much younger. Parts of this planet that collided with Earth may still be lodged deep into our world, according to a recent research.
An intriguing finding was made by geophysicists in the 1980s. Deep in the planet’s interior, there appeared to be two continent-sized lumps of peculiar substance. One is beneath the Pacific Ocean, while the other beneath the African continent. These “blobs” are each twice as big as the Moon and comprise various elements in different ratios than the surrounding mantle.
The second concern is where the blobs, known as large low-velocity provinces (LLVPs), come from. According to a research that was published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, these blobs may be the remnants of an ancient planet that formed the Moon billions of years ago when it crashed with Earth.
The research also provides an explanation for another enigma surrounding the “giant impact theory” of the Moon’s formation. Theia was the name given to the smaller planet that collided with Earth, although neither meteorites nor the asteroid belt contain any evidence of it. The Moon is thought to have formed from the impact’s leftover debris after the majority of Theia was absorbed by early Earth, creating these “LLVPs,” according to the researchers.
When scientists studied seismic waves traveling through the Earth, they first identified the LLVPs. Through various materials, these waves move at varying speeds. Research on these seismic waves suggested large-scale, three-dimensional changes deep under the Earth in the 1980s. Two structures that appeared to be close to the Earth’s core contained iron concentrations that were abnormally high.
Caltech researchers modeled various scenarios about the chemical composition of Theia and its influence on Earth. These simulations verified that the Moon and the LLVPs may have formed from the collision’s mechanics. The Moon might have formed from a mixture of the other collision debris and some of Theia’s mantle fusing with Earth’s.