The Incredibly Violent History of Earth's Moon
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Moon!
Our moon was born of fire and violence. Virtually everything we see of it today, from its impact craters and mare to its mismatched hemispheres, was the result of world-shattering and world-creating events. These illustrations reveal what the Moon's history looked like.
4.5 billion years ago. Incoming planet: only moments remain before Theia, a planet the size of Mars, slams into the primordial earth.
The big splat. The impact peels the earth like an orange. Titanic masses of material from both planets are thrown into space. The core of Theia eventually sinks to the center of our planet, where it remains to this day.
For a short time, the earth is surrounded by a ring of debris. The ring is only temporary, however: it soon begins to coalesce into a solid mass. Only a few years might have been required for it to form into a moon.