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Curious facts about cosmic life and their inhabitants.

Our third theory to discuss is the "Co-Formation Theory" which alleges that the Moon and Earth were formed within the nebular disk around the Earth (similar to how our solar system formed around the Sun). This theory falls short when one revisits the composition of the Earth and Moon. If the Moon did indeed share some of the same building material as the Earth did and form in the same area, it should be very similar in composition to the Earth. We've seen, however, that the Moon doesn't share a significant iron core like our home planet does. There is one theory which remains to be discussed, and it is the one that is widely accepted today. The Giant Impactor Theory: The Giant Impactor Theory claims that the Moon was formed when an object the size of Mars slammed into the Earth shortly after the solar system's formation. After this object hit the Earth, tons of material from both the object and the Earth were sent into space and began to orbit around the Earth. This material slowly began to come together and collide until what we see as our Moon was created. This theory most easily explains the criteria we previously mentioned. The heat that would have been generated after the collision explains the evidence of "baking" on the Moon's surface. It also supports the fact that the Moon doesn't have a large iron core like the Earth. Finally, we have seen evidence of other such collisions in other parts of the solar system.



and here is another

The chaotic rotation of the moons was not the only surprise that came from the study. HST's monitoring also showed a link between the orbits of the three moons Hydra, Nix, and Styx.



and finally

As for Triton--it's a doomed world. It circles around its parent planet in the wrong direction, and as it does so it moves ever closer and closer inward. Eventually, Triton will crash into Neptune!

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Titan has three large hydrocarbon seas that are all located near its north pole, and they are surrounded by numerous smaller lakes in the northern hemisphere. Only one large lake has been detected in the southern hemisphere.



In dramatic contrast, the inner region of our Solar System, where our Earth dwells--along with Mercury, Venus, and Mars--is relatively barren of moons. Mercury and Venus have no moons, and Mars is orbited by a small duo of deformed moons, Phobos and Deimos, that are probably asteroids that escaped from the Main Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter billions of years ago--only to be captured by the Red Planet's powerful gravitational embrace. Our Earth is the only inner planet that possesses an impressively large, spherical Moon.



Dr. Jacobson believes that this new study showing a later lunar birthday means that our planet's impact history was more turbulent than earlier thought. The alteration in Earth's bombardment rate, he suggests, also means an alteration in the quantity of energy that went into our planet's oceans and atmosphere. It also has implications for the history of our planet's surface temperature--which is important because liquid water could not exist until the surface had cooled off sufficiently.