Scientists Discover Earth is Really 2 Planets in 1
A recent discovery about the history of the Earth and the creation of the moon might make you rethink everything. Astronomers have just found evidence pointing to a high-speed collision that happened over 4.5 billion years ago which created not only the moon, but the Earth as we know it.
That the moon is just debris from a planetary crash is not news, but astronomers had always believed that the incident had been a hit-and-run. New research by a team of geochemists at UCLA, however, suggests that the collision between the Earth and a smaller “planetary embryo,” as it’s been called, was a lot more violent than previously thought. So violent, in fact, that it stuck there and stayed there, and the two planets fused into one.
The baby planet, which Astronomers have named Theia, was probably close to Mars in size, and was not really a planet at all—at least, not yet. According to Edward Young, a lead author of the UCLA study, Theia was just starting to blossom into a fully-fledged planet when it crashed into us. The collision, Young explains, was head-on, and resulted in Theia being “thoroughly mixed into both the Earth and the moon, and evenly dispersed between them.”
The feeling we’re left with is probably not unlike that of a person who absorbed their would-be twin in the womb. Weirded out and dubious of the friend we might have had, but aware that had it never happened, we would not be where we are today.
Images via UCLA, NY Daily News.
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