Theories Of The Origin Of The Moon

1585 words - 7 pages

Intro Sample...

The Moon is the only natural satellite of Earth. The distance from Earth is about 384,400km with a diameter of 3476km and a mass of 7.35*1022kg. Through history it has had many names: Called Luna by the Romans, Selene and Artemis by the Greeks. And of course, has been known through prehistoric times. It is the second brightest object in the sky after the Sun. Due to its size and composition, the Moon is sometimes classified as a terrestrial "planet" along with Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Origin of the Moon Before the modern age of space exploration, scientists had three major theories for the origin of the moon: fission from the earth; formation in earth orbit; and formation far from earth. Then, in 1975, having... View More »

Body Sample...

In the years immediately following the Apollo project, this division of opinion continued to exist. One observer of the scene, a psychologist, concluded that the scientists studying the Moon were extremely dogmatic and largely immune to persuasion by scientific evidence. But the facts were that the scientific evidence did not single out any one of these theories. Each one of them had several grave difficulties as well as one or more points in its favor. In the mid-1970s, other ideas began to emerge. William K. Hartmann and D.R. Davis (Planetary Sciences Institute in Tucson AZ) pointed out that the Earth, in the course of its accumulation, would undergo some major collisions with other bodies that have a substantial fraction of its mass and that these collision would produce large vapor clouds that they believe might play a role in the formation of the Moon. A.G.W. Cameron and William R. Ward (Harvard University, Cambridge MA) pointed out that a collision with a body having at least the mass of Mars would be needed to give the Earth the present angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system, and they also pointed out that such a collision would produce a large vapor cloud that would leave a substantial amount of material in orbit about the Earth, the dissipation of which could be expected to form the Moon. The Giant Impact Theory of the origin of the Moon has emerged from these suggestions. These ideas attracted relatively little comment in the scientific community during the next few years. However, in 1984, when a scientific conference on the origin of the ...

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