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April 5 2014

Violent Moon Formation Happened Later Than Thought


Earth’s finishing touch came with a wallop when a Mars-sized hunk of real estate crashed into the fetal planet some 95 million years after the birth of the solar system -- later than some astronomers thought -- sending up debris that eventually formed moon, a new study shows.

The finding, based on 259 computer simulations of asteroid crashes and the resulting buildups of Earth, helps resolve a long-standing debate about when the moon-forming impact occurred.

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