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Lunar meteorites reveal origin of Moon

IANS  |  Beijing 

Analysing lunar meteorites has provided new evidence that the was formed after a Mars-sized body impacted the Earth 4.5 billion years ago, finds a study.

Scientists with the in Nanjing, conducted research on three lunar meteorites from the US space agency NASA and found chlorine isotopic fractionation, which only occurs in ultra-high-temperature and ultra-high-energy conditions, such as a giant collision between astronomical bodies, the reported on Wednesday.

from the team said chlorine isotopic fractionation was a process in which chlorine-35, an isotope of chlorine, easily evaporates under high temperatures while the heavier chlorine-37 can better stand the heat.

The discovery of the phenomenon in lunar meteorites demonstrates that the originated from a giant impact, Ying said, in the paper published in

The giant-impact hypothesis has been the prevailing theory on the origin of the It suggests the collision between the Earth and a Mars-sized body created a large debris disk that eventually formed the Moon.

"The giant-impact hypothesis gives answer to many questions, such as the moon's rotation speed and the relatively large size of the moon compared with the Earth," said Xu Weibiao, another from the observatory.

"Besides, lunar rocks retrieved by astronauts have the same oxygen isotope ratio as the Earth. In other words, the two bodies share the same set of DNA," Xu said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 10 2019. 22:40 IST