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No. 2: January 1978

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Sun-earth-moon system may not be stable

The application of zero-velocity surfaces (a mathematical technique) to the sunearth-moon, three-body system indicates that the eccentricity of the earth's orbit renders the system unstable. The conclusion is that the moon may one day escape the earth and become a planet and, turning the situation around, that the origin of the moon by capture is a strong possibility.

(Szebehely, V., and McKenzie, R.; "Stability of the Sun-Earth-Moon System," Astronomical Journal, 82:303, 1977.)

Comment. This paper is typical of several recent ones in celestial mechanics that throw doubt on long-held dogmas about the long-term stability of the solar system. For more on this subject, consult ABB1 in our Catalog: The Sun and Solar System Debris. To order this book, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #2, January 1978. 1978-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987