The moon, that gigantic and enigmatic white rock that shines in our nights and affects the Earth’s sea tides. Our faithful companion on this unstoppable intergalactic journey.
We tend to think that it has been there since the Earth was formed, but it is not quite like that. The moon has accompanied us from a very early stage, some 4.5 billion years but although our relationship since then is completely peaceful, the beginnings were much more turbulent.
The most accepted theory of the formation of the Moon indicates that a protoplanet, called Theia collided with the Earth, the impact did not completely destroy either of the two rocky forms, but on the contrary, being one of a much larger size, the effect of the impact’s rebound was not completed, leaving what is now the Moon trapped in Earth’s orbit doomed to follow it forever.
Recently, scientists specialized in the area have proposed that evidence of this impact is hidden under the earth’s crust. The study points to two layers found under the tectonic plates under West Africa and under the Pacific Ocean that surround much of the Earth’s core.
These two formations have caused great intrigue to scientists for decades as studies show that telluric and earthquake vibrations move differently and seem to slow down when passing through these masses, which would imply that they are of different density and chemical composition.
“They are the largest thing in the Earth’s mantle,” says Qian Yuan, a Ph.D. student in geodynamics at Arizona State University (ASU).
Until now, it was thought that the large low-shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs) as scientists call these two formations, were nothing more than the result of crystallization of part of the deep ocean of terrestrial magma. But now this new study considers that they come from another planet and that are the result and the residue left behind by the collision with the rock that today we the Moon.
Other scientists claim that this is an idea that has been circulating in the specialized community for a long time, but it is the first time that a theory around this idea has been made with coherence and with verifiable evidence, which is why they are giving it great credibility.
Studies will continue to be carried out and many more scientists will try to verify this theory. If it turns out to be true, that will mean that we have had a piece of the Moon much closer than we had imagined, literally under our feet.