Origin of the Moon in a giant impact near the end of the Earth's formation

  title={Origin of the Moon in a giant impact near the end of the Earth's formation},
  author={Robin M. Canup and Erik Asphaug},
The Moon is generally believed to have formed from debris ejected by a large off-centre collision with the early Earth. The impact orientation and size are constrained by the angular momentum contained in both the Earth's spin and the Moon's orbit, a quantity that has been nearly conserved over the past 4.5 billion years. Simulations of potential moon-forming impacts now achieve resolutions sufficient to study the production of bound debris. However, identifying impacts capable of yielding the… 
Forming a Moon with an Earth-like Composition via a Giant Impact
Computer simulations show that a giant impact on early Earth could lead to a Moon with a composition similar to Earth’s, and simulate impacts involving larger impactors than previously considered that can produce a disk with the same composition as the planet's mantle, consistent with Earth-Moon compositional similarities.
Making the Moon from a Fast-Spinning Earth: A Giant Impact Followed by Resonant Despinning
Computer simulations show that a giant impact on early Earth could lead to a Moon with a composition similar to Earth’s, and shows that a faster-spinning early Earth-Moon system can lose angular momentum and reach the present state through an orbital resonance between the Sun and Moon.
Accretion of the Earth
  • R. Canup
  • Geology, Physics
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
  • 2008
Density-wave interactions between growing planets and the gas nebula may help to explain the current near-circular orbits of the Earth and Venus, and may result in large-scale radial migration of proto-planetary embryos.
Formation of the Earth and Moon: Influence of Small Bodies
The paper discusses a model of the bombardment of the Earth and the Moon by small bodies when these planets were formed. It is shown that the total ice mass delivered with the bodies to the Earth
The current standard theory of the origin of the Moon is that Earth was hit by a giant impactor the size of Mars, causing ejection of iron-poor impactor mantle debris that coalesced to form the Moon.
Moonfalls: collisions between the Earth and its past moons
During the last stages of the terrestrial planet formation, planets grow mainly through giant-impacts with large planetary embryos. The Earth's Moon was suggested to form through one of these
Tidal Evolution of the Earth–Moon System with a High Initial Obliquity
A giant-impact origin for the Moon is generally accepted, but many aspects of lunar formation remain poorly understood and debated. Ćuk et al. proposed that an impact that left the Earth–Moon system
N-Body Simulation of the Formation of the Earth-Moon System from a Single Giant Impact
The giant impact hypothesis is the dominant theory of how the Earth-Moon system was formed. Models have been created that can produce a disk of debris with the proper mass and composition to create
Origin of the Earth and Moon
According to the giant impact hypothesis, the Moon formed from a disk created by an impact between the proto-Earth and an impactor. Three major models for this hypothesis are (a) standard model: a
On the origin of Earth's Moon
The Giant Impact is currently accepted as the leading theory for the formation of Earth's Moon. Successful scenarios for lunar origin should be able to explain the chemical composition of the Moon


Origin of the earth and moon
The age-old question of how our home planet and its satellite originated has in recent times undergone a minor revolution. The emergence of the "giant impact theory" as the most successful model for
Evolution of a Circumterrestrial Disk and Formation of a Single Moon
Abstract We investigate the evolution of a circumterrestrial disk of debris generated by a giant impact on Earth and the dynamical characteristics of the moon accreted from the disk by using
Origin of the Earth and Moon
About 130 scientists met December 1-3, 1998, in Monterey, California, to share ideas about the formation and very early history of the Earth and Moon. Conference organizers constructed the program to
From interstellar gas to the Earth‐Moon system
Abstract— This paper reports the current status of my smoothed particle hydrodynamic (SPH) simulations of the formation of the Moon. Since the Moon has recently been found to have been formed
Lunar accretion from an impact-generated disk
Although the mechanism by which the Moon was formed is currently unknown, several lines of evidence point to its accretion from a circumterrestrial disk of debris generated by a giant impact on the
Substantial reservoirs of molecular hydrogen in the debris disks around young stars
Observations of the lowest rotational transitions of molecular hydrogen that reveal large quantities of gas in the debris disks around the stars β Pictoris, 49 Ceti and HD135344 are reported.
The dust disk around β Pictoris must be produced by collision or by evaporation of orbiting Kuiper belt-like objects. Here we present the Orbiting- Evaporating-Bodies (OEB) scenario in which the disk
Structure of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Inferred from the Physics of Tidal Breakup
Abstract Detailed consideration of possible fragmentation mechanisms shows that Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 (SL9) had negligible effective strength, even in comparison with tide and self-gravity, by the