Did Earth eat the protoplanet it crashed into long ago?

A new study makes a compelling case for the origin of unexplained masses of underground rock causing changes to the Earth's magnetic field.

Credit: ordus/Adobe Stock
  • Many experts believe that the Moon was formed when a protoplanet named Theia crashed into the Earth 4.5 billion years ago.
  • One flaw in the theory has been that there's no remaining sign of Theia.
  • New research suggests that Theia's mantle was subsumed by Earth and that large anomalous blogs of rock deep within the Earth are its remains.
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    Animal magnetism: Bacteria may help creatures sense Earth's magnetic fields

    An intriguing theory explains animals' magnetic sense.

    Credit: PedroNevesDesign/designer_an/Shutterstock/Big Think
    • Some animals can navigate via magnetism, though scientists aren't sure how.
    • Research shows that some of these animals contain magnetotactic bacteria.
    • These bacteria align themselves along the magnetic field's grid lines.
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    Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash

    Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

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    Scientists blow up their lab after creating strongest magnet ever

    It's a record magnetic field, but... yeah. That didn't last long.

    Photo: The University of Tokyo.
    • Scientists knew that it would probably explode, but they did not expect to reach such a record magnetic field.
    • Magnetic fields are measured in teslas, after Nikola Tesla.
    • This one reached a record 1,200 teslas, 400 times stronger than an MRI; watch it explode in the video
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    Uranus' Strange Magnetosphere Switches Open and Closed, Letting in Solar Wind

    New research on Uranus' magnetosphere could help scientists learn about distant systems, and refine the ways they search for alien life.

    Uranus has a “switch-like” magnetosphere that opens and closes once every rotation of the planet, exposing it to deadly solar winds, according to researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US.

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