How did the moon form? The leading theory is that the Moon resulted from a glancing collision between the young Earth and an object the size of Mars. The above image series is based on several mathematical simulations of the Moon’s origin:

The Moon’s history beginswith a collision between a young Earth (larger object) and a Mars-sized planet.

10 minutes:The now-molten mantle layers (gray) of the two planets are mixing together.

1 hour:The iron cores (orange) are melding together – Most of this iron will remain with Earth.

2 hours:Parts of the mantle are spinning off into a swarm of debris.

22 hours:Pieces of debris revolve around Earth, slowly gathering together.

1 week:The growing Moon’s gravity pulls in the remaining debris.

(via aimlessinspace)

Source: amnhnyc