A remarkable new study claims that the moon long ago was formed in a "cosmic donut" or synestia.
Donuts are not only delicious, they may have helped with the creation of our moon. Okay, we are talking about an entirely different kind of donut, but it is still quite an extraordinary discovery that could totally change our understanding of our moon’s origin.
Scientists have long thought that the moon was forme dbillions of years ago after another planet smashed into Earth, but now a new theory has emerged that the collision may have totally obliterated Earth, leaving a huge doughnut-shaped cloud of rock that scientists call a synestia. Researchers think that the moon may have formed in this chaotic cosmic donut.
The findings could cause scientists to rethink how the Earth and even other planetary system were formed eons ago. Scientists were having trouble with the Theia theory that holds that the collision blasted off debris that formed into the moon, as the moon has a unique chemistry that does not fit with this theory. The moon should have a very different makeup than that of the Earth if this were the case, but the moon is very similar to the Earth in many respects.
“The new work explains features of the Moon that are hard to resolve with current ideas,” said Sarah Stewart, professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at UC Davis. “The Moon is chemically almost the same as the Earth, but with some differences,” she said. “This is the first model that can match the pattern of the Moon’s composition.”