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Moon size body collide with earth to bring gold says study



India December 07(IM): A huge Moon-sized planetary body penetrated all the way down to the Earth's core during the early days of our home planet's formation, delivering in the process precious metals such as gold and platinum, suggests the results of a new study.The scientists determined that the total amount of material delivered to Earth may have been two to five times greater than previously thought, and the impacts altered Earth in a profound way while depositing familiar elements like gold."These results have far-reaching implications for Moon-forming theories and beyond," said Simone Marchi of Southwest Research Institute in the US."Interestingly, our findings elucidate the role of large collisions in delivering precious metals like gold and platinum found here on Earth," Marchi added.The Planetary collisions are at the core of our solar system's formation. The Scientists have long believed that after the Moon's formation, the early Earth experienced a long period of bombardment that diminished about 3.8 billion years ago.During this period, called "late accretion," the collisions with Moon-sized planetary bodies, known as ‘planetesimals’, embedded heavy amounts of metal and rock-forming minerals into the Earth's mantle and crust. It has been estimated that approximately 0.5 percent of Earth's present mass was delivered during this stage of planetary evolution. The new study confirms how massive collisions delivered metal to early Earth.Also, with the support of NASA, researchers at the Southwest Research Institute and the University of Maryland created high-resolution impact simulations that showed significant portions of a large planetesimal's core could penetrate all the way down to merge with Earth's core or bounced back into space and escape the planet entirely.The report published in the journal Nature Geoscience found evidence of more massive accretion onto the Earth than previously thought after the Moon's formation.The mantle abundances of certain trace elements such as platinum, iridium, and gold, which tend to bond chemically with metallic iron, are much higher than what would be expected to result from core formation.This discrepancy can most easily be explained by late accretion after core formation was complete, the study stated.

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