Spitzer Finds Evidence of Violent Planetary Collision

One of the main theories of how our Moon formed involves a violent cosmic collision between two planets. Astronomers have only been able to hypothesize what this collision was like, but now they have a better idea of what would ensue after such an event. With its infrared eyes the Spitzer Space Telescope has found the aftermath a collision between two planets, and what it shows is brutal. "This collision had to be huge and incredibly high-speed for rock to have been vaporized and melted," said Carey M. Lisse of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, "This is a really rare and short-lived event, critical in the formation of Earth-like planets and moons. We're lucky to have witnessed one not long after it happened."

Full article by Nancy Atkinson on Universe Today



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