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Moon May Be More Like Earth Than Thought

File photo of Rocks from the moon being examined in the lab.
by Staff Writers
UPI Correspondent
Knoxville TN (UPI) Jan 18, 2007
A U.S. astronomer says a new moon-rock study suggests the satellite has an iron core and might be more like the Earth than thought. Larry Taylor, director of the Planetary Geosciences Institute at the University of Tennessee, told National Geographic News the findings add weight to the theory the moon formed from debris thrown off when a Mars-size object collided with a young Earth.

"This is the most positive evidence so far that the moon contains a core," said Taylor. "It's looking more like a planet every day."

Taylor says the Earth's moon is too big to be a moon.

"It's huge compared to the moons we see around other planets, so it has always been suspected that there was something strange in its origin."

The leading moon-creation theory is known as the "giant impact" or "big whack" theory, NGN reported. It posits an object about the size of Mars slammed into our planet very early in its formation, with some of the debris aggregating into the moon.

The study involving rock samples from the Apollo 15 and Apollo 17 moon missions of the early 1970s appears in the journal Science.

Source: United Press International

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Japan Set To Cancel Delayed Moon Probe Mission
Tokyo (AFP) Jan 15, 2007
Japan's space agency said Monday it had recommended cancelling a much-delayed unmanned mission to the moon in the latest setback to the nation's ambitions to explore the final frontier. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) planned to call off its Lunar-A mission, which was intended to shed light on the moon's origin and evolution using a module to land on its surface, a spokesman said.

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