Introductory Astronomy: Moon


Where did Moon Come from?

Moon is the brightest object on the night sky. It has a great influence on our planet and living creatures (werewolves for example). Where did Moon come from? There are several hypothesis about it.

  1. Melted Earth was rotating fast and piece of it flew out and became a Moon. In this case though Moon should consist from the same stuff as Earth, but as we know it has much lower density. Apparently it lacks iron a lot.
  2. Moon formed somewhere else in the Solar system (some place without iron ;-) and was captured by Earth (Mars for example captured it’s satellites from asteroid belt). When we got samples from Moon they showed a lot of similarities with our Earth materials (for those who wants details: isotope composition was the same), so that’s where the third theory came from:
  3. Earth was hit by a big space body when it was young. A lot of debtis from Earth’s crust (crust has a small amount of iron comaring to core) flew into space and formed the Moon. This third one is the most accepted currently.
Five Hours After Impact, based on computer modeling by A. Cameron, W. Benz, J. Melosh, and others. Copyright William K. Hartmann

Five Hours After Impact, based on computer modeling by A. Cameron, W. Benz, J. Melosh, and others. Copyright William K. Hartmann

Moon Flies Away

Every year distance between Earth and Moon increases by about 1 cm (0.5 inch). Reflectors mounted by Apollo crews helped us to precisely measure distance to Moon and discover that it flies away.

Alien Bases on the Moon

Japanese lunar satellite Kaguya created gravity anomalies Moon map. What’s anomaly? We know how Moon’s mass and radius, so we know how strong gravitational force should be on it’s surface. In some places this force is higher than calculated value (this called positive anomaly and represented by red color on the picture below) in some places force is lower than calculated value (this called negative anomaly and represented by blue color on the picture below):

Moon gravity anomalies map by Kaguya. Red -- high gravity, blue -- low gravity. Image credit: JAXA

Moon gravity anomalies map by Kaguya. Red -- high gravity, blue -- low gravity. Left picture is Moon's side we see from Earth, right picture is the far side of the Moon. Image credit: JAXA

We all know that those anomalies mean alien bases under Moon’s surface, seriously, what else it could be :-)?

–> Read previous chapter about Earth.
–> Read next chapter about Sun.

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