The composition of the Moon’s near side is oddly different from that of its far side, and scientists think they finally understand why. (Credits: NASA/NOAA)
TOKYO (Earth-Life Science Institute PR) — Earth’s Moon has a ‘near side’ that is perpetually Earth-facing and a ‘far side’, which always faces away from Earth. The composition of the Moon’s near side is oddly different from its far side, and scientists think they finally understand why.
The Earth-Moon system’s history remains mysterious. Scientists believe the two formed when a Mars-sized body collided with the proto-Earth. Earth ended up being the larger daughter of this collision and retained enough heat to become tectonically active. The Moon, being smaller, likely cooled down faster and geologically ‘froze’. The apparent early dynamism of the Moon challenges this idea.
New data suggest this is because radioactive elements were distributed uniquely after the catastrophic Moon-forming collision. Earth’s Moon, together with the Sun, is a dominant object in our sky and offers many observable features which keep scientists busy trying to explain how our planet and the Solar System formed. Most planets in our solar system have satellites.
For example, Mars has two moons, Jupiter has 79 and Neptune has ...