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This Swiss study tries to demonstrate the origin of the Moon


How was the Moon born? If our satellite has been lighting up the Earth’s night sky for millennia, scientists do not yet know very well the reasons for its arrival so close to us. The most likely hypothesis, at least the one with the most consensus today, remains that the Moon was born from an eruption of matter on Earth.

According to a brand new study from the University of Zurich, our satellite could contain in its rock the answer to these questions and the proof that it is indeed a terrestrial construction. In order to demonstrate the common origin of the Moon and the Earth, the simplest thing is to find their similarities.

Find similarities between the Moon and Earth

Scientists are therefore trying to find rare gases such as helium or neon on our satellite. Elements present in quantity on Earth, but which are very rare in the rest of the solar system. In order to be able to prove this theory, researchers must have on hand pieces of moon rock, to analyze them.

If getting to our satellite is an extremely complicated exercise, NASA’s Artemis program shows us a little more every day, the research world is lucky, because pieces of the Moon fall on Earth every day, in the form of a meteor.

In an article published in the journal Science Advances (available in source), Swiss researchers were able to study these precious pieces of rock in search of these rare gases. According to their analyses, the results leave no room for doubt.

Indeed, the gas isotopes of helium and neon are present in these pieces of rock, thus proving that the Moon was in fact born after an eruption of terrestrial material in space. This debris would have ended up attracting each other over millennia to form a huge gray ball rotating 300,000 kilometers from Earth.

The Moon is an invention of the Earth

As explained by the research team led by Patricia Will, they managed to find sub-millimeter glass particles in the basalt. The latter acted like time capsules, transporting helium or neon isotopes through the years.

After comparison, these isotopes are very close to those that can be found by digging deep on Earth. They were brought to our planet millennia ago by the solar wind, clinging to these glass particles. Then a violent eruption, possibly caused by a collision with another protoplanet, to eject these particles into space, orbiting the Earth like a ring.

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