An international team of scientists from China and the U.S. has made a groundbreaking discovery suggesting that two massive objects buried deep in the Earth’s mantle may be remnants from the moon’s formation around 4.5 billion years ago. According to a study published in the journal Nature, researchers from institutions including the California Institute of Technology, Arizona State University, and the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory propose that two continent-sized anomalies with low seismic velocities, located beneath the African continent and the Pacific Ocean, may be composed of material from Theia, the Mars-sized planet that collided with Earth to form the moon.
This material, known as Theia mantle materials (TMMs), is denser than Earth’s proto-mantle. Through simulations, the team suggests that a portion of Theia’s mantle could have been incorporated into Earth’s lower mantle after the impact, forming dense blobs rich in iron. These blobs may have sunk and accumulated over time, influencing Earth’s internal structure and geological evolution. The findings also offer insights into the formation of the inner solar system and may have implications for understanding habitability on exoplanets.
Source – CGTN