What are tidal friction and giant impact hypothesis?

Asked by harinder | 1st Sep, 2008, 05:23: PM

Expert Answer:

. According to this hypothesis, toward the end of the planetary accumulation process, the Protoearth collided with a planetary body having a substantial fraction of the Protoearth mass. The collision took place with a fairly large impact parameter, so that the combined angular momentum of the two bodies was at least as great as that now in the Earth-Moon system. At the velocity characteristic of the collision (11-15 km/sec) most rocky materials are vaporized. Initially it was hypothesized that pressure gradients in the resulting vapor cloud played a crucial role in accelerating a relatively small fraction of the vapor into orbit about the Protoearth, forming a disk.

Answered by  | 2nd Sep, 2008, 01:24: PM

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