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“The puzzle about how the Moon formed and the other consequences of a giant collision with the early Earth is something that scientists are working hard to unravel,” Kegerreis said.
He cautioned, however, that the simulations don’t definitively prove or disprove any theories about how the Moon formed, but merely add to the growing body of research aiming to narrow down possible scenarios that might explain how the Earth gained its natural satellite.
The team examined different-sized objects, composed of iron, rock or both, impacting a planet from a variety of angles and speeds and what the consequences might be, once again highlighting the need for ongoing vigilance of the skies for incoming, potentially life-threatening spaceborne threats.
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