NANJING, April 10, Research into lunar meteorites with a group of Chinese scientists has supplied new evidence to support the giant impact theory, which argues that the moon was formed following a Mars-sized body affected the Earth 4.5 billion years ago. Researchers with the Purple Mountain Observatory conducted research on 3 lunar meteorites from the U.S. Space agency NASA and discovered chlorine isotopic fractionation, which only occurs in extremely high temperatures and extremely high energy conditions, like a giant collision between astronomical bodies. Wang Ying of the research team said the isotopic fractionation of chlorine was a procedure wherein chlorine-35, an isotope of chlorine, easily melts under high temperature whilst the heavier chlorine-37, the better endure the heat.
The discovery of a phenomenon in lunar meteorites demonstrates that the moon originated out of a giant impact, Wang explained. The giant impact hypothesis was the prevailing theory on the source of the moon. It indicates the collision between the Earth and a Mars-sized body produced a big debris disk that eventually formed the moon. The giant impact hypothesis gives an answer to many questions, like the moon’s rotation speed and the comparatively large size of the moon compared with the Earth, said Xu Weibiao, another researcher from the observatory.
In addition to, lunar stones recovered By astronauts have the same oxygen isotope ratio since the Earth. Put simply, the two bodies share the same set of DNA, Xu said. The research started in the year 2011 and the result was published on Scientific Reports.