Nick Ut / AP

A new theory of how the Moon was formed, published in Scientific American:

Earth collided with another planet, vaporizing the outer layers and forming a continuous body of material called a synestia.This likely happened several times in Earth's history, but in one case, as it condensed, the Moon was formed.Why it matters, per author Simon Lock: "The discovery of synestias is a game changer for our understanding of how the Earth formed. It is likely that several times during formation, the body that would become the Earth was transformed into an extended, substantially vaporized body. This dictates how the core of the Earth formed, how we acquired our ocean and atmosphere, and maybe how our planetary companion, the Moon, came into being."

Current theory: A Mars-sized planet called Theia slowly bumped up against Earth, knocking off material that formed into a disk of molten rock around our planet. But more recently, researchers found that the speed of rotation for the Earth and Moon could have been much greater when they first formed and scientists began to study how else the Moon may have been created. Lock says synestias come in many shapes and sizes and could change our understanding of how planet formation beyond our solar system.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 p.m. ET: 31,201,975 — Total deaths: 963,068— Total recoveries: 21,356,412Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 p.m. ET: 6,833,931 — Total deaths: 199,815 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

Sen. Cory Gardner on vacant Supreme Court seat: "I will vote to confirm"

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will vote to confirm President Trump's nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he announced in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The development is a win for President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It should mean Republicans are all but assured to have enough support to hold hearings for Trump's potential nominee.

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