Old 06-26-2008, 09:50 AM Offline   #1 (permalink)



 
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Default Mars Had an Ancient Impact Like Earth

quixote9 writes "The BBC reports on a set of Nature articles showing that Mars had an impact about four billion years ago by a huge asteroid. This was about the same time that a much bigger object slammed into the Earth, throwing material into orbit around our infant planet. This material is thought to have coalesced to form the Moon. 'It happened probably right at the end of the formation of the four terrestrial planets — Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars,' said Craig Agnor, a co-author on the Francis Nimmo study. 'In terms of the process of the planets sweeping up the last bits of debris, this could have been one of the last big bits of debris.' There's a theory that having a big moon is important to the development of life, because the much bigger tides create a bigger intertidal zone, but people used to think having a huge Moon like ours was a once-in-a-universe event."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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