A study conducted by Yale scientists has suggested that billions of pieces of planet Venus may have crashed on the moon.
However, such theories are difficult to examine without geological samples.
Asteroids and comets slamming into Venus may have dislodged as many as 10 billion rocks and sent them into an orbit that intersected with Earth and Earth’s Moon, according to the scientists. Some of these rocks will eventually land on the Moon as Venusian meteorites.
Yale astronomer Samuel Cabot said, “Such catastrophic impacts such as these only happen every hundred million years or so — and occurred more frequently billions of years ago.”
“The Moonoffers safe keeping for these ancient rocks. Anything from Venus that landed on Earth is probably buried very deep, due to geological activity. These rocks would be much better preserved on the moon.”
Scientists cited two factors supporting their theory. The first is that asteroids hitting Venus usually are going faster than those that hit Earth, dispatching significantly more material. The second is that a huge fraction of Venus’s ejected material would have approached Earth and the Moon.
Gregory Laughlin, an astronomer from Yale, said, “There is a commensurability between the orbits of Venus and Earth that provides a ready route for rocks blasted off Venus to travel to Earth’s vicinity. The Moon’s gravity then aids in sweeping up some of these Venusian arrivals.”
Missions to the moon could uncover more soon.
This study comes after another study suggested that Venus may have had an Earth-like environment billions of years ago, with water and a thin atmosphere.