| Collision with a Dwarf Planet May Explain Why Our Moon is So Strange Looking
The far side of the moon is weirder than we previously thought and new research indicates that, in the distant past, the moon could have faced off against an unknown object in a massive collision that changed its face. On the near side that faces Earth, we can see large dark areas of volcanic basalt dotting the lunar landscape. Meanwhile, on the dark side, thanks to the Soviet probe Luna 3 which orbited the Moon in 1959, we know that the surface is riddled with thousands upon thousands of craters. While many might posit that the Earth has simply protected the near side from aeons of meteorite impacts, new research suggests that the real answer may not be so simple (the Earth is too far from the moon to provide enough anti-meteor defense anyway). Analysis of data from 2012 reveals that the dark side of the moon has an extra-thick crust (some 20km or 12.5 miles deep) which contains a 10km thick layer of magnesium and iron enriched material not found on the near side. Previous theories