Magnetized Models of Moon-Forming Giant Impacts
Abstract: The canonical giant impact hypothesis suggests that ~4.5 billion years ago, a Mars-sized impactor struck the proto-Earth in an off-centered collision. The impact debris, comprised of melted and vaporized silicates, wraps around the proto-Earth forming a Keplerian disk. From this "protolunar disk”, the Moon is thought to have formed. This talk aims to investigate the role of magnetic fields in a giant impact scenario. Specifically, I will describe a suite of 3-D numerical MHD simulations that study the amplification of magnetic field strengths due to the giant impact and the early evolution of the protolunar disk.