Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 42: Nov-Dec 1985

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











Origin Of The Moon Debated

In October of 1984, the Conference on the Origin of the Moon convenved in Kona, HI. The clear favorite among the four contending hypotheses was the earth-impact scenario, which may be stated as follows:

"Near the end of the Earth's accretion, after its core had formed and while the growing planet was still molten, an object at least the size of Mars smashed into it at an oblique angle. The cataclysm put large quantities of vaporized or partially vaporized impactor and Earth into orbit. The primitive Moon formed from that material."

Conferees turned thumbs down on the theory that the moon was captured by the earth. Still not ruled out are the double-planet hypothesis (earth and moon accreted in their present configuration) and the fission-from-earth theory.

(Taylor, G. Jeffrey; "Lunar Origin Meeting Favors Impact Theory," Geotimes, 30:16, April 1985.)

Reference. See SF#37 for more details on all four theories mentioned above.

From Science Frontiers #42, NOV-DEC 1985. 1985-2000 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