The moon might look like a rather plain giant rock that exists in our nighttime sky but it’s actually a location still full of mystery. Perhaps the biggest mystery for scientists is why part of its crust has magnetic fields while other parts do not.
A new theory suggests that the inconsistency occurs because a 120-mile-wide asteroid smashed into the moon’s south pole 4.5 billion years ago which left behind a large chunk of magnetic rock.
According to a scientist speaking with the Los Angeles Times:
“The collision left this huge, whopping crater that’s roughly half the size of the US.”
The belief is that the giant rock smashed into an area of the moon where a magnetic field once existed, that in turn magnetized the asteroid’s iron-rich rock which created anomalies in the Moon’s magnetic fields.
According to a planetary science professor at UC Santa Cruz. :
“I think it’s a good idea. I’m surprised no one really explored it earlier.”
Not all scientists are on board with the theory, some believe that smaller, more recent impacts caused the magnetic fields to shift wildly across the moon’s build.
One scientist tells Red Orbit:
“It may also be true that extra-terrestrial materials play a larger role in the magnetic fields of other planets than anyone has appreciated,” she continued. “Magnetism is one of the clues that let us construct a geologic history of the surface of a planet. If we now have to consider that it may have come from a collision like this one, that’s something we need to be aware of.”
Do you think this new theory makes a lot of sense from a practical reasoning standpoint?