It looks like everything we thought we knew about our little lunar buddy is totally wrong. Since the 1970’s, the most prevalent theory about the formation of the moon was that another celestial body, around the size of Mars, grazed the Earth and the rock that was scraped off, formed into the moon. Now, it turns out, that the reality was even more violent.

Harvard scientists, Kun Wang and Stein B. Jacobsen, have been studying old lunar samples from the Apollo missions and they’ve found proof of an impact that is much more intense than previously believed. In fact, the collision created such a great pressure that there were temperatures high enough to cause the separation of “heavy isotopes of potassium.” According to Wang, the previously theorized impact would not even come close to providing the heat needed to make this happen. The reality, the scientists say, would be much closer to a “sledgehammer hitting a watermelon” than to a scrape. They think the heat was so intense, that a portion of the Earth actually vaporized. When that vapor eventually cooled, it condensed into the moon that we now know.

Source: Inhabitat