The moon has two faces – finer, facing the ground, and a more rough side on the dark side of the moon, obscured by thousands of craters. Scientists now know why the moon’s hemisphere is so different.
According to a new study, half of the moon’s surface is permanently marked after an ancient collision between the dwarf planet and the moon.
Scientists suspect that the Earth accommodated two months that blended billions of years ago. Previous planetary researchers have determined the possibility of a collision between the dwarf and the moon.
When the moon bounces off a dwarf planet in the early days of the solar system, the structure of the moon’s skin must reveal the signs of the collision.
Researchers can find such signatures by studying the moon’s gravitational field.
“Detailed GRAIL gravity data provide new insights into the structure of the moon’s crust below the surface,” said Mun Hua Zhu, a researcher at the Space Science Institute of Macao University of Science and Technology.
Scientists have carried out dozens of simulations of various impact scenarios to determine what type of collision produced the structure of the Earth’s crust similar to that found in the current Moon.
The model shows clashes between the moon and objects that are slightly smaller than dwarfs. This is the best explanation for the two faces of the moon. Interestingly, the simulation shows that the dwarf planet collided with the side near the moon. The blow shook a large amount of debris that settled on the other side of the moon.
The displacement events are so significant, the researchers said, explaining why the distal side of the moon’s skin is much thicker than the near side. This also explains the lack of craters in the hemisphere.
The new impact scenario can also help explain the differences in potassium, phosphorus, and rare earth isotopes such as tungsten-182 measured on the surface of the Earth and the Moon.