Using supercomputer simulations, scientists from Durham University have shown how the Moon could have formed. The details of this process are still unknown to researchers.
According to some reports, the simulations are developed within the DiRAC High-Performance Computing facility, which includes a collection of various hardware, including a supercomputer.
Nowadays, most astronomers believe that about 4.5 billion years ago, a space object the size of Mars, called Theia, crashed into the Earth. From the debris from the collision emerged what would become the Moon. Theia is believed to be a Mars-sized planet that existed in the ancient Solar System.
Simulation tested this version. The impact of Theia produced a satellite with a mass of about 80% of the Moon, which ended up in Earth's orbit due to rotation.
Scientists will continue to refine the model by studying other factors that led to the formation of the Moon. And even though scientists cannot claim that this is the definitive proof of the Moon’s formation, this still gives us a glimpse into how the celestial body could have formed.
The findings are published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society journal.