Moon-shaped collisions also carry earth’s water, planetary scientists say

Science

Without the moon and water, life on earth would not have been possible. Recent research from Germany shows that both were supplied by Theia, which collided with Earth 4.4 billion years ago.

Scientists have long been confused by the origin of earth’s water. The earth has been formed in the inner solar system and the inner solar system is dry. Moist material from the solar system is brought to the external solar system.

For example, carbon-rich meteorites come from the outer solar system. Carbon-free meteorites from the inner solar system without water.

At some point in Earth’s early history, carbon material sent large amounts of water. However, the details and timing of the shipping process are unknown.

“We use the molybdenum isotope to answer this question,” said Gerrit Budd, a researcher at the Institute of Planetology at the University of Münster. “Molybdenum isotopes allow us to clearly distinguish between carbon and non-carbon materials, and therefore constitute ‘genetic fingerprints’ material from the outer and inner solar systems.”

An analysis carried out by Buddh and his colleagues showed that part of the earth’s molybdenum originated from the external solar system. Because molybdenum is an iron-loving element, most of it is the core of the earth – but not all.

“The current molybdenum in the mantle, therefore, originates from the final stage of earth formation, whereas molybdenum from the previous phase is entirely in the nucleus,” said planetary scientist Christoph Burkhardt.

The new study, published in Nature magazine this week, shows that large amounts of water have arrived after the earth joined. The authors of the study show that much of the water-rich material supplied by Theia, a Mars-sized planet, scientists suspect that around 4,400,000,000 years ago the Earth’s head had evaporated, so much Earth and caused the formation of the moon.

“Our data shows that Earth did not obtain a carbon body until the end of its growth history, perhaps through the effects that make up the moon,” the scientists wrote. The delay in the delivery of carbon materials is likely to be the result of orbital instability of the giant gas plan and shows that the earth’s occupation is closely related to its very late stage of growth.

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