Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 33: May-Jun 1984

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











The moon's moonlets

The great lunar basins are not arranged randomly. They occur in bands -- not one band but several. How can this geometry be explained. One hypothetical scenario has the primitive moon surrounded by many moonlets 60 miles and larger in diameter, plying equatorial orbits that are unstable. As the moonlets' orbits decayed, some crashed into the moon's equatorial regions, blasting out a band of huge craters. The force of the impacts also caused the lunar crust to slide over the still-liquid core by as much as 90. When the next group of moonlets crashed, they gouged out a new belt of craters and shifted the crust still more. Magnetic measurements of lunar rocks tend to confirm that the lunar crust did indeed shift by large angles -- several times.

(Anonymous; "Did the Moon Have Moonlets?" Science Digest, 92:20, January 1984.)

Comment. Such events could also have happened on earth, which would account for tropical-zone fossils being found at the present-day poles.

From Science Frontiers #33, MAY-JUN 1984. 1984-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "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