2Moons Above Ancient Earth
November 27, 2012 in Science
Earth Once Had Two Moons
September 7, 2011
GRAIL and the Mystery of the Missing Moon
NASA’s GRAIL mission started its lunar probe late in 2011 to uncover some of the mysteries buried beneath the surface of the Moon –even, perhaps, a long-lost companion. According to recent scientific speculation, the Earth once had two moons gracing our night skies.
“It’s an intriguing idea,” said David Smith, GRAIL’s deputy principal investigator at MIT. “And it would be a way to explain one of the great perplexities of the Earth-Moon system – the Moon’s strangely asymmetrical nature. Its near and far sides are substantially different.”
The Moon’s near side, facing us, is dominated by vast smooth ‘seas’ of ancient hardened lava. In contrast, the far side is marked by mountainous highlands. Researchers have long struggled to account for the differences, and the “two moon” theory introduced by Martin Jutzi and Erik Asphaug of the University of California at Santa Cruz is the latest attempt.
Scientists agree that when a Mars-sized object crashed into our planet about 4 billion years ago, the resulting debris cloud coalesced to form the Moon. Jutzi and Asphaug posit that the debris cloud actually formed two moons. A second, smaller chunk of debris landed in just the right orbit to lead or follow the bigger Moon around Earth.
“Normally, such moons accrete into a single body shortly after formation,” explains Smith. “But the new theory proposes that the second moon ended up at one of the Lagrange points in the Earth-Moon system.”
Mars is the only planet with two moons in our solar system. Coincidence? Or supportive of this amazing modern astronomical discovery*A Planet Infowars Original