A Mars-sized planet that collided with Earth in its early days may have left two gigantic portions of itself in the heart of Earth, scientists theorized in a new study
According to a team led by Qian Yuan, geodynamics researcher at Arizona State University, the missing planet, known as Theia, not only integrated part of itself inside the Earth, but probably also contributed to the formation of the moon. The team presented an article detailing the theory earlier this month at the 52nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2021
Based on geodynamic models and isotopic evidence, scientists believe that two mysterious dense areas in 1 000 miles below the earth's surface are in fact «material remnants of Theia's mantle«Dense areas – hundreds of miles high and thousands of miles wide – are located under West Africa and the Pacific Ocean
Yuan began his quest after studying «the giant impact hypothesis» concerning the formation of the earth's moon The theory, supported by the composition of lunar rocks, argues that the moon was formed from fusion debris created by Theia's massive crash on Earth 4. 5 billion years
A study funded by NASA in 2016 postulated that the Earth could in fact be two planets – herself and Theia – that merged when they collided
“Theia was completely mixed with the Earth and the Moon, and distributed evenly between them”, said lead author Edward Young, professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, in a press release at the time.
But Yuan believes his team have now located the real parts of Theia inside Earth., which are the largest formations in the interior of the Earth.
“You could say that they are the biggest and the biggest meteorites if they are mainly Theia's mantle.”, Yuan told Vice “It's really cool”
For years, scientists have discussed the possibility of a link between the mysterious dense areas and Theia, reported Science magazine But the Arizona State University professor and seismologist, Edward garnero, Said Yuan's Work Was The First Time Anyone Mobilized Multiple Sources Of Evidence To Build A Serious Case For Yuan.
Terre, Theia, Moon
News – United States – Continental remnants of an extraterrestrial world could be buried deep in the Earth
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