The colossal impact that created the moon may have spawned the cosmic mashup between the rocks that ultimately became Earth and its lunar neighbor, researchers say.
Previous research suggested that about 100 million years after the solar system formed 4.6 billion years ago, the newborn named after the mother of the moon in Greek myth. Debris from the collision later coalesced into the moon.
Much remains uncertain about the precise nature of this giant impact. For instance, scientists have long debated how much debris, including water, was exchanged between the nascent Earth and moon, and whether the collision was a glancing blow or a high-energy impact.