Moon made from Earth, scientists say

2012-10-18 07:29

Washington - A new theory put forward by Harvard scientists suggests the Moon was once part of the Earth that spun off after a giant collision with another body.

In a paper published on Wednesday in the journal Science, Sarah Stewart and Matija Cuk said their theory would explain why the Earth and Moon have similar composition and chemistry.

The Earth was spinning much faster at the time the Moon was formed, and a day lasted only two to three hours, they said.

With the Earth spinning so quickly, a giant impact could have launched enough of the Earth's material to form a moon, the scientists said in an explanation published on a Harvard website.
According to the new theory, the Earth later reached its current rate of spinning through gravitational interaction between its orbit around the Sun and the Moon's orbit around Earth.

The scientists noted that their proposition differed from the current leading theory, which holds that the Moon was created from material from a giant body that struck the Earth.

Stewart is a professor of earth and planetary sciences at Harvard, and Cuk, an astronomer and an investigator at the Seti Institute, which supports research into the search for extraterrestrial life. The latter was conducting post-doctoral research at Harvard.

  • - 2012-10-18 07:42

    This is certainly not a new theory at all - been around for a while now. Maybe it's just new to the News24 dumbos (sorry - "journalists").

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-10-18 07:47


      Jimmy NZ - 2012-10-18 07:47

      Have to agree totally!!!

      zaatheist - 2012-10-18 07:48

      My reaction as well. This is old news.

      tamlin.vanheerver - 2012-10-18 08:09

      News24 journalists, where no education is needed! A journalist should have a grasp on history and maybe just maybe read up on a topic before copying and pasting it.

      robbie.crouch - 2012-10-18 08:10

      Jip. Just one of the 3 current theories, not new at all.

      cayowin.vanderbadt.1 - 2012-10-18 09:17

      @robbie.crouch - I missed the third theory, There is the Legrange point, where the Earth and moon formed in the same orbit of the same material, then there was the collision which removed the iron from the moon. The high rotation - as explained in this article. And what is the third?

      juanne.coetzee - 2012-10-18 10:02

      Yeah I first learned about this theory on Discovery Channel's "The Universe" series. Definitely not new at all.

      pwcrook - 2012-10-18 11:06

      Yeah, this has been a very popular theory for a while... Speed might be more important for breaking news, but for the Science stuff facts and research are key!!!

      Apatheist - 2012-10-18 11:39

      Yea I know, this is a recurring theme with News24. Next there is going to be an article titled "Earth not flat, scientists say."

      tamlin.vanheerver - 2012-10-18 12:18

      Everybody knows the moon is made of cheese anyway!

  • kingswing69 - 2012-10-18 07:48

    WE taught in school Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy.but later on that was not so. later on in life Scientists are going to say they wrong and say the moon came from somewhere else lol

      stephen.scott.376043 - 2012-10-19 08:01

      @queenslegs71, the theory may well be refined, later on, but if you want to keep living in the twilght zone of faith, pay no attention to it,

  • ryan.viljoen.39 - 2012-10-18 07:49

    True Story. It is obvious that the moon broke off from the Alps in Switzerland because that's where all cheese comes from.

      Tamandjaz - 2012-10-18 08:53


  • Tiaan Liebenberg - 2012-10-18 07:58

    Whahahahahaha! Tissues please, I am crying with laughter

  • dewalds3 - 2012-10-18 08:05

    I heard this theory when I was still a child - more than 40 years back?

  • phillip.vanniekerk.5 - 2012-10-18 08:06

    Bwahahahahahaha. So the Dinosaurs got Mooned! Science by Idiots for Idiots.

      zaatheist - 2012-10-18 09:06

      Pillip probably believes that Noah caught two of each kind of dinosaur and put them in the Ark.

      stephen.scott.376043 - 2012-10-19 08:11

      Hey! Phillip, next time your kids get sick, rush them to church, well soon see, where your faith really lies.

  • MAVHUTSA - 2012-10-18 08:10

    People lie

  • Robert Frankol - 2012-10-18 08:26

    i thought scientists were suppos├ęd to be intelligent...what Cuk is this

      jason.sole.92 - 2012-10-18 08:42

      sometimes its best to keep you mouth shut and be thought a fool, then to open it and remove all doubt.

      zaatheist - 2012-10-18 09:07

      Yep, another brain addled no-nothing retard.

  • askido.demamz - 2012-10-18 08:28

    Ok, I see, so that's why Alies will be coming to earth soon, to reclaim that was once theirs, cause of moon once been part of the Earth...American r really fckin up with our

  • - 2012-10-18 08:29

    God created the sun,earth,moon and stars.One day you will know the truth.The truth will prevail.

      zaatheist - 2012-10-18 09:08

      Touting for fools again are we Apostle Michael? Greaseball!

      zane.zeiler - 2012-10-18 12:26

      Yes well that is what people used to believe until we realized that there is more out there than just the sun, earth, moon and "stars" aka planets nebulae, clusters, magnatars, pulsars, neutron stars, binary stars etc. all contained in billions of solar "star" systems which in turn is contained in galaxies and get this (this is gonna blow your tinny mind!) there are billions of galaxies!

      vandeventer.sarel - 2012-10-18 14:25

      God is Great!!!

  • jeniffer.powersill - 2012-10-18 08:30

    Chuck Norris made the Moon with his awesomeness!

  • Samukelisiwe Tana Shelembe - 2012-10-18 08:36

    hahaha... these scientists will come up with any dumb theories just to get a shot of winning the nobel prize

  • justice.maswanganyi - 2012-10-18 08:37

    The iphone was created from the ipad, that's why it has similar features. It was once a part of the ipad until the ipad fell and broke into the iphone. Ha ha ha, this ignorance and denial of God pisses me off. The similarities between the earth and moon only confirms one creator as much as the similarity between iphone and ipad confirms they all come from Apple.

      peter.louwrens - 2012-10-18 09:17

      I concur with Justice' excellent example, both moon and earth made / created by the same Lord God.

  • damienbradshawphotography - 2012-10-18 08:51

    I don't care what anyone says....Its made of cheese !

  • Jimmy NZ - 2012-10-18 08:58

    Apart from the funny answers, the comments point straight to how badly educated South Africans are...

      zaatheist - 2012-10-18 09:09

      Actually how religion has made them wilfully ignorant and stupid.

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-10-18 11:07

      @Mememan, from NZ but living and working in SA... Every nation has it's idiots, but blatant ignorance is quite scary :)

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-10-18 12:02

      Lol, I put the NZ on as I comment quite a bit on the sport (I won't say rugby). My dad is a Saffa so I know all about SA. One can only hope it'll all work out in the end but it is looking rather ominous aye! Still in my opinion one of the greatest places in the world, just wish the masses could see this. Anyways hope you have a cool day :)

      kventer - 2012-10-18 15:30

      If this theory has all to do with gravity or if the big bang theory has to do with gravity, how is it then that only earth has gravity and not the other planets? Don't bite my head off ... I only have a question?

      kventer - 2012-10-19 08:20

      You still don't answer my question? Why does only earth have gravity??? And MemeMan ..... I know where you come from but I do know where you can go to! By calling me names shows your incapable of a debate and just being a bully, the empty can makes the most noise!

      adele.kendall.16 - 2012-10-19 10:21

      Jimmy... Your point has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

  • christiaan.harmse - 2012-10-18 09:51

    Cool theory, never actually wondered how the moon got there...does anyone know how gas planet's moons are formed?

      zaatheist - 2012-10-18 09:53

      Captured by gravity is the accepted theory.

  • ettienec1 - 2012-10-18 10:03

    Ye nothing new here... I remember reading this hen I was around 10, so 16 years ago...

  • christiaan.harmse - 2012-10-18 10:04

    Hmm, it could be. Another could be rock and ice from the equatorial disk breaking off? I've read something like that somewhere. But the earth's moon is a whole other story. People slamming this theory, please propose your own? I'd like to hear your scientific analysis on satellite construction then.

  • frans.oosthuizen - 2012-10-18 10:23

    listen to bbc4 podcast from Nov 2011 - quite interesting: The Moon 03 Nov 11

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