A team of scientists at Arizona State University has found legible evidence that suggests the remains of an ancient planet could be buried deep within the Earth’s mantle…
I prepared a giant-impacted beer of the family of Earth, Theia, Moon and LLSVPs, just waiting for you to taste!!🍻
Planetary Differentiation: Accretion, Evolution, Experiments — Lots of Metal starts
4PM Central Time. See you soon~ pic.twitter.com/s2DL0U0xg4
— Qian Yuan (@qianyuan_geo) March 18, 2021
The group of researchers has reason to believe that our moon formed when a protoplanet named Theia collided with Earth, taking place during Earth’s infancy, about 4.5 billion years ago, and this has been a question mark for many years among scientists.
A Ph.D. student in seismology at the university, Qian Yuan, discussed this hypothesis last week at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, backing up his explanation with new isotopic evidence and modelling.
Found this cute little gif showing how some scientists think our moon was formed (blue = proto-Earth, black = hypothetical planet Theia, red = embarrassment/hot flush) pic.twitter.com/Qsc8T3QlY7
— Adam Lemonade (@paperadam) January 22, 2021
The theory is also based on the fact that two layers of rock the size of a continent sit below West Africa and the Pacific Ocean, apparently straddling the Earth’s core, and are about 1,000km tall and several times as wide…wtf?!
This mantle also makes up 84% of the total volume of Earth, lying between the core and crust. Based on all of this, Yuan believes the LLSVPs (low-shear velocity provinces) are the remains of Theia.
This has been backed up by Sujoy Mukhopadhyay, a geochemist who believes there is evidence indicated that the LLSVPs have existed since the collision, causing the creation of the moon.
Meanwhile, astrophysicist Steven Desch, who worked alongside Yuan, has found evidence to suggest Theia was nearly as big as Earth and quite dry.