Fr.: théorie de fission
A theory that suggests the Moon was formed at the same time as Earth. A spinning Earth ejected a large piece of its material into space which then developed into the shape and orbit of the Moon. This event was also thought to be at the origin of the Pacific Ocean. This first modern idea about the formation of the Moon is due to George Darwin, the son of the great naturalist Charles Darwin. The fission theory explained the lack of volatile substances on the Earth. The volatile materials on the Earth would have been thrown out into space The fission theory is almost completely abandoned today. The analysis of lunar rocks brought to Earth by NASA astronauts showed that the Moon rocks are older than the rocks at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Moreover, modern → plate tectonics gives a better explanation of the origin of the Pacific Ocean. See also → giant impact hypothesis, → capture theory, → co-formation theory.