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'Mind-bending' simulation reveals new theory on how the Moon was formed

Poppy Bilderbeck

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'Mind-bending' simulation reveals new theory on how the Moon was formed

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/NASA's Ames Research Center

NASA has revealed a 'fresh take on the origin of Earth's Moon' with a 'mind-bending' simulation.

Ever get to 2.00am at an afterparty and sit there questioning your entire life existence or how the Earth's Moon was formed?

Well, luckily for you, NASA has a video which could explain it all - about how the moon formed that is, not why you're having an existential crisis.

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Prepare to be bamboozled:

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NASA and Durham University in the UK worked together last year to create a supercomputer simulation which 'puts forward a different theory of the Moon's origin'.

The theory suggests the Moon 'may have been formed in a matter of hours, when material from the Earth and a Mars sized-body were launched directly into orbit after the impact'.

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The caption on NASA's Ames Research Center's YouTube video continues: "The simulations used in this research are some of the most detailed of their kind, operating at the highest resolution of any simulation run to study the Moon’s origins or other giant impacts."

The collision is portrayed so beautifully in the simulation. Credit: YouTube/ NASA's Ames Research Center
The collision is portrayed so beautifully in the simulation. Credit: YouTube/ NASA's Ames Research Center

'One of the highest resolution simulations of the Moon's formation,' the simulation begins with a depiction of a 'Mars-sized body' with 'our planet'.

It shows what happens as the collision occurs and forms debris, which leads to two different areas of orange - the smaller of which becomes the Moon.

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"The gravity of the larger body propels the smaller body forward..." the video explains. "And launches it onto a wide and stable orbit."

How do you think the moon was formed? Credit: YouTube/ NASA's Ames Research Center
How do you think the moon was formed? Credit: YouTube/ NASA's Ames Research Center

As well as opening up 'new possibilities for the Moon's evolution' and helping researchers 'better understand the intertwined history of Earth and the Moon,' the simulation has also boggled the minds of viewers, who've flocked to the post to praise the video.

One YouTube user said: "What’s always so mind-bending about planet collision simulations like this one is how fluid the impacts are. It’s more like two water droplets splashing together in space than most people would expect."

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"The energy and violence is unimaginable," another wrote.

A third commented: "I would watch this simulation play in real time, this stuff is always fascinating to me. Also very satisifying just watching the bodies flow and morph."

And a fourth said: "What I find amazing about collisions of these sizes is the fact they're so massive that the tidal forces alone are enough to liquify entire planets before they've even collided, watching incoming objects being stretched out as they reach their periapsis mesmerizes me every single time."

Topics: Technology, NASA, Space, World News, Science, YouTube, Social Media

Poppy Bilderbeck
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