The Moon has held a fascination for me since childhood. Seeing NASA astronauts bouncing around up there implanted a thirst in me to actually visit. Hardly a month goes by where I don’t look up at the sky, and dream of staring back at the Earth from a lunar vantage point.
Aside from “when will I get to go to the moon?”, my next childhood question was “where did the Moon come from?” Over the years, I’ve heard a number of theories.
Due to the composition of rocks brought back during the Apollo missions, scientists have determined that the Moon was originally part of the Earth. They believe that early in the Earth’s formative years, it was struck by a Mars-sized planetoid. The resulting debris coalesced into the body that currently orbits our planet.
However, another more recent theory posits that it was not a direct strike but a grazing by another body that pulled material from the Earth into orbit. This would explain the lack of non-terrestrial components in the samples from the moon. In other words, it appears that the Moon is made from nothing but the Earth.
How will this information be expanded upon by future Moon explorers and settlers? In the mean time, enjoy this awe-inspiring video which compresses billions of years of lunar evolution into a few minutes.
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