A new study suggests that the Moon could have formed after a huge impact that ripped off a chunk of Earth.

Astronomers believe that the Moon could have been created by a collision between Earth and an ancient Mars-size planet called Theia, which would have created an enormous debris field.

A new hypothesis suggests that the Moon's formation might not have been a slow and gradual process at all, but one that happened within a few hours.

The scientists published their findings in a journal.

NASA says there were 2 craters after a mystery rocket smashed into the moon.

Jacob Kegerreis said that it is hard to predict how much resolution you need to reproduce these violent and complex collisions reliably, and that you have to keep testing until you find that increasing the resolution even further doesn't make a difference to the answer you get.

After the return of the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969 scientists got their first clues about the creation of the moon.

Roughly 150 million years after the formation of the solar system, the samples were dated to 4.5 billion years ago.

Scientists named the largest natural satellite after Theia, the mother of the Moon, because of the violent collision between Earth and a hypothetical planet.

There are similarities in the composition of lunar and Earth rocks, as well as the spin of the Moon and the existence of debris in our solar system.

It's up for debate how the collision happened. According to the conventional hypothesis, Theia was shattered into millions of pieces when it crashed into Earth.

The molten sphere of the Moon coalesced and cooled over millions of years after Theia's broken remains mingled into a disk.

Some parts of the picture are hard to find. If the Moon is mostly made out of Theia, do many of its rocks have the same characteristics as those on Earth?

Some scientists suggest that more of Earth's rocks went into creating the Moon than Theia did, but this idea presents its own problems, such as why other models suggest that a Moon made mostly of disintegrated Earth rocks would have a vastly different path.

To investigate different possible scenarios for Moon formation following the collision, the new study's authors turned to a computer program called SPH With Inter- dependent Fine- grained Tasking.

The program was run on a supercomputer at Durham University's Distributed Research Utilising Advanced Computing facility.

The lunar sleuths were able to model the aftermath of the crack-up at higher resolutions thanks to the use of COSMA.

The number of particles used in the simulation determines the resolution. The standard simulation resolution is between 100,000 and 1 million particles, but Kegerreis and his colleagues were able to model up to 100 million particles.

"With a higher resolution we can study more detail, similar to how a larger telescope lets you take higher resolution images of distant planets or galaxies to discover new details," Kegerreis said.

He said that using too low a resolution in a simulation can give you incorrect answers.

If you build a model car out of toy blocks, you can imagine how it would break in a crash if you only used a few dozen blocks. It might start to break in a more realistic way with a few thousand or millions of dollars.

The single-stage formation theory that offered a clean and elegant answer to the Moon's visible properties was offered by the higher-resolution simulation.

The researchers will have to examine rock and dust samples excavated from deep beneath the Moon's surface before they can confirm how mixed its mantle is.

More samples from the Moon's surface could be helpful for making new and more confident discoveries about the Moon's composition and evolution, which can be traced back to model simulations like ours.

"Missions and studies like these help us to rule out more possibilities and narrow in on the actual history of both the Moon and Earth and to learn more about how planets form throughout and beyond our solar system."

The investigations could show how Earth became a life-harboring planet.

"The more we learn about how the Moon came to be, the more we discover about the evolution of our own Earth," said study co-authorVincent Eke. Their histories are intertwined, and could be repeated in the stories of other planets.

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The original article was published by Live Science. The original article can be found here.