Moon’s origins revealed in rocks’ chemistry

New chemical measurement supports giant impact hypothesis for lunar beginnings

By Meghan Rosen, 14:01 PM June 5, 2014

The messy details of the moon’s birth just got a bit neater.

Earth and its little lunar sister aren’t actually twins, a new chemical analysis of Earth and moon rocks reveals.

The findings help iron out a big wrinkle in the giant impact hypothesis, the only idea about the moon’s origin that hasn’t been shot down yet, says Harvard University planetary scientist Sarah Stewart, who was not involved with the study.

“When everyone saw this work, we all breathed a huge sigh of relief,” she says. “In my...

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