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Andrei Dergalin. Sputnik International
The researchers argue that certain large masses located underground may be the product of a prehistoric planetary collision.
While the so-called giant impact hypothesis posits that an ancient Mars-sized planet called Theia collided with Earth around 4.5 billion years ago, and some of the debris produced by that collision coalesced into what eventually became the Moon. , a team of researchers now suggests. that parts of that hypothetical alien world may still remain under the surface of our planet.
Scientists point to the existence of the Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVP), two giant masses located deep underground.
But while previous theories suggested that these masses were, for example, “parts of the Earth’s core that have been detached,” as the Daily Express notes, the researchers now argue that these may be the results of the aforementioned planetary collision. .
“The Giant Impact hypothesis is one of the most scrutinized models for the formation of the Moon, but direct evidence indicating the existence of the Theia impactor remains elusive,” explained Qian Yuan, a PhD candidate studying the dynamics of the mantle. at Arizona State University, in the materials. presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. “We show that the Theia mantle can be intrinsically several percent denser than the Earth’s mantle, allowing materials from the Theia mantle to sink to the lowest mantle on Earth and accumulate in thermochemical piles that can cause the seismically observed LLSVPs. “
The researchers further argued that simulations of the aforementioned impact event “suggest that at least some intact pieces of Theia’s mantle may have persisted in the Earth’s mantle throughout Earth’s history.”
“Primitive materials can [originate] of LLSVPs, which is well explained if LLSVPs preserve materials from Theia’s mantle that are older than Giant Impact, “the team states.