Friday, September 12, 2014

The Moon is back, baby! - The Sat.Eve.Rvw.of The NYT

The biggest thing that ever happened on the Moon from my point of view happened some time ago – I was a lad – when Neal Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and then others, walked upon it. Looking up at that thing in the sky – whew – made you forget the problems at your feet.

We as a culture aint goin back any time soon – unless the Chinese or Indians really surprise – and there is not much news about our nearby satellite of love.  So it is nice to pick up this week's Science Times, and find an nice little omnibus about recent Moon stuff.

Some of the science that is being done today around the moon is discussed. The story goes sideways at first with some guff about the Super Moo n-  rare instances when the orb appears 10 or so % larger (happened 3 times this year) – but then it gets to its work which is to show that lunar studies are really abuzz.

A lot of this is based on studies/research that considers the moon's origins. The consensus there is that these origins are cataclysmic. Ok, things one-third almost the size of the earth don't just happen.

We have data from the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Obiter which enforces the notion that the Moon is very hot and very cold. (Gratuitous sidenote 1: ever met a girl like that?)

This is something Neal Armstrong would have told you as well. He was there, dammit !

They get this notion cause recent measures taken in craters at the poles, ones that have not seen the solar light in billions of years, and which clock in at 30 degrees Celsius above Absolute Zero. (Gratuitous sidenote 2: Maybe you had a girl like that. I had one and she waited until it was 30 deg below Absolute Zero to breakup with  me .)

The theories are coalescing around the idea of a planet called Thea (in Greek mythology, the mother of the moon goddess) crashing into earth, bam, and then the residue thereof condensing into the Moon. It is called the impactor theory, and someone may chuckle many years hence reading this blog post and knowing better, but hello, future, this is-was the best we got going in 2014.

There is a lot more to be said, but I don’t get paid to write this stuff, and I think you would be very much more informed if you actually read the article…. The Moon Comes Around Again .. learn about the dark side, ionization estimates based on Apollo moon rocks (the size of aspirin) that seem to confirm the Impactor premise… the reason the moon is shaded so as to appear a face, and the gooey stuff that gives appearance to the moon's seas! – Jack Vaughan

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