NASA released this CG reconstruction of the (currently believed) history of the moon to celebrate 1,000 days of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter circling the satellite. It was pretty interesting to watch, but definitely could have used more aliens (I counted, there were zero).
According to current thinking, the Moon itself formed after a planet roughly the size of Mars slammed into the Earth at a glancing blow. This colossal impact threw billions of gigatons of debris into space. Some of that fell back onto Earth, and some formed a huge disk around the (now once again liquefied) planet. This material eventually coalesced to form the Moon.
But the story wasn't done: with impact after impact, wave after wave of bombarding material shaped and reshaped the Moon's surface.
Whoa, I didn't know that's where the moon came from. Or, I should say, I didn't know that's where scientists thought the moon came from. Because you and I both know a wizard put it there to keep the oceans in check so Poseidon couldn't extend his reach onto land. Nice try, NASA!
Hit the jump for billions of years of getting hit with space-rocks.
The Moon's history of violence [discovery]
Thanks to chromageddon and Li, who don't care where the moon came they just want to blow it up and collect all the cheese.