Giant impact: accretion and evolution of the Moon
Implications for Earth, Mars and the Solar System as a whole*
International Space Science Institute, Bern, Switzerland
2 Jungfraujoch Commission – Swiss Academy of Sciences, Switzerland
3 Jacobs University Bremen, Germany
Our planetary system has not always been as serene as it appears to us today. Exploration of the Moon has shown that disastrous collisions and violent epochs have occurred in the early part of its history. Indeed, a collision of the Earth with another planet – the Giant Impact – is the most widely accepted theory for the origin of the Moon. Several hundred million years later, Moon and Earth received a Late Heavy Bombardment that created the large basins on the Moon and must have devastated the atmosphere and hydrosphere of the Earth.
Editor’s Note: This special Feature is an updated summary of a paper in which J. Geiss and A.P. Rossi [The Astronomy and Astrophysics Review (2013) On the chronology of lunar origin and evolution – Implications for Earth, Mars and the Solar System as a whole, 21:68 (54 pp)] covered the development of lunar science over the past half-century and underlined the importance of understanding the Moon’s history for the history of the Solar System as a whole. Detailed physical arguments, models, numerical estimates and references can be found in the review paper itself. Jo Hermans, EPN Science Editor
© European Physical Society, EDP Sciences, 2014