The Moon Is 100 Million Years Older Than We Thought, Apollo Rocks Show. A new study of Apollo lunar rocks suggests that the moon is older than anyone believed. This collision formed a huge debris cloud around Earth that over eons coalesced into our moon.
There are three theories as to how our planet’s satellite could have been created: the giant impact hypothesis, the co- formation theory and the capture theory.
What is most widely accepted today is the giant-impact theory. It proposes that the Moon formed during a collision between the Earth and another small planet, about the size of Mars. The debris from this impact collected in an orbit around Earth to form the Moon.
Scientists suggest that without the moon, tides would be 1/3 of the size they are now. High tides would be much smaller than they are now, and low tides would be even lower. Winds could become much faster and much stronger without the moon. Additionally, we might see a change entirely in seasons.
The giant-impact hypothesis, sometimes called the Big Splash, or the Theia Impact, suggests that the Moon formed from the ejecta of a collision between the proto- Earth and a Mars-sized planetesimal, approximately 4.5 billion years ago, in the Hadean eon (about 20 to 100 million years after the Solar System coalesced).
Often when we see drawings of the Earth and the Moon, they look really close together. Don’t be fooled! They’re actually really far apart. The Moon is an average of 238,855 miles (384,400 km) away.
Orbit. Theia is thought to have orbited in the L4 or L5 configuration presented by the Earth–Sun system, where it would tend to remain.
Galileo’s discovery. So, why do the moons around other planets have names, while ours is just the moon? When the moon was named, people only knew about our moon. That all changed in 1610 when an Italian astronomer called Galileo Galilei discovered what we now know are the four largest moons of Jupiter.
Gravity on Mars is 38% that of our Earth’s, which is believed by many to be sufficient for the human body to adapt to. It has an atmosphere (albeit a thin one) that offers protection from cosmic and the Sun’s radiation.
It is the pull of the Moon’s gravity on the Earth that holds our planet in place. Without the Moon stabilising our tilt, it is possible that the Earth’s tilt could vary wildly. It would move from no tilt (which means no seasons) to a large tilt (which means extreme weather and even ice ages).
The Moon has been circling the Earth for more than four billion years. Today, most scientists believe it is the ‘Earth’s child’. It was born when a wandering planet crashed into the young Earth. Huge amounts of material were thrown into space, eventually coming together to form the Moon.
Earth is old. The sun is old. As much as half of all the water on Earth may have come from that interstellar gas according to astrophysicists’ calculations. That means the same liquid we drink and that fills the oceans may be millions of years older than the solar system itself.
With no sunlight, photosynthesis would stop, but that would only kill some of the plants— there are some larger trees that can survive for decades without it. Within a few days, however, the temperatures would begin to drop, and any humans left on the planet’s surface would die soon after.
The moon orbits the Earth once every 27.322 days. It also takes approximately 27 days for the moon to rotate once on its axis. As a result, the moon does not seem to be spinning but appears to observers from Earth to be keeping almost perfectly still. Scientists call this synchronous rotation.
The brightest and largest object in our night sky, the Moon makes Earth a more livable planet by moderating our home planet’s wobble on its axis, leading to a relatively stable climate. It also causes tides, creating a rhythm that has guided humans for thousands of years.