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Moon Space Science

Earth May Once Have Had Multiple Moons 186

Posted by kdawson
from the many-moons-ago dept.
fyc writes "A new study from NASA's Ames Research Center has suggested that the collision of Earth and a Mars-sized object that created the Moon may also have resulted in the creation of tiny moonlets on Earth's Lagrangian points. 'Once captured, the Trojan satellites likely remained in their orbits for up to 100 million years, Lissauer and co-author John Chambers of the Carnegie Institution of Washington say. Then, gravitational tugs from the planets would have triggered changes in the Earth's orbit, ultimately causing the moons to become unmoored and drift away or crash into the Moon or Earth.'" The longest-lasting of such Trojans could have persisted for a billion years. They would have been a few tens of kilometers in diameter and would have appeared in the sky like bright stars.
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Earth May Once Have Had Multiple Moons

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  • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @04:49AM (#23321862)
    In Star Wars when Luke looks up at the sky and sees several moons I always wondered.

    But this is scientific proof that the Gospels according to George Lucas are the truth.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @04:56AM (#23321876)
    there. stupid joke out of the way.

  • by pbhj (607776) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:08AM (#23321908) Homepage Journal

    fyc writes "A new study .. has suggested .. may also have .. likely remained .. would have .. could have .. They would have .. and would have appeared in the sky like bright stars.
    So it's a first hypothesis, now find some evidence.

    Meanwhile a new study by me has suggested that reading Slashdot stops time and may also make you hyper-intelligent. Slashdotters would have bigger brains that could be farmed in the future to feed entire villages. Villagers would crack open the skulls with sharp metal straws which would be used to drink the brains out. A strong light then placed in the skull cavity would then shine in the night like bright stars.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:20AM (#23321970)
    before the man in the moon ate it all millions of years ago. The smell of cheese may have lingered for several centuries after that.
  • Moonlets? (Score:5, Funny)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:20AM (#23321974) Homepage
    Although "Moonlets" is a cute, fuzzy term, I would have much preferred if they'd called them 'mooninites'
  • by OpenSourced (323149) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:23AM (#23321988) Journal
    would have appeared in the sky like bright stars.

    Appeared to whom?

  • by kitsunewarlock (971818) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:26AM (#23321998) Journal
    Hey! If time stopped while reading Slashdot, I could accomplish something with this massive, super productive and delicious brain, you insensitive clod!
  • by stoofa (524247) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:30AM (#23322012)
    The focus group used by NASA's marketing arm did try 'mooninites' but decided that 'Moonlets' had a much greater appeal from a plush merchandise angle.
  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:49AM (#23322088)

    Sure, then the original article could be rewritten so that it contains every calculation used in the study.
    And it should contain all in the headline:

    "Post-collision debris from Lunar creation might have persisted a little bit longer than originally thought in these crazy gravitational slots at a distance of r \approx R \sqrt[3]{\frac{M_2}{3 M_1}} which could be described as being such that the orbital period, corresponding to a circular orbit with this distance as radius around M2 in the absence of M1, is that of M2 around M1, divided by \sqrt{3}\approx 1.73...
  • by PJ The Womble (963477) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:56AM (#23322110)
    Having once played a gig to an audience of zero, I can't agree with your logic here. "Appear" doesn't have to be "to" anyone, sadly! At least the moons got to come back the next night. I didn't.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @06:08AM (#23322150)
    The "Moon": A Ridiculous Liberal Myth 173 days ago

    It amazes me that so many allegedly "educated" people have fallen so quickly and so hard for a fraudulent fabrication of such laughable proportions. The very idea that a gigantic ball of rock happens to orbit our planet, showing itself in neat, four-week cycles -- with the same side facing us all the time -- is ludicrous. Furthermore, it is an insult to common sense and a damnable affront to intellectual honesty and integrity. That people actually believe it is evidence that the liberals have wrested the last vestiges of control of our public school system from decent, God-fearing Americans (as if any further evidence was needed! Daddy's Roommate? God Almighty!)

    Documentaries such as Enemy of the State have accurately portrayed the elaborate, byzantine network of surveillance satellites that the liberals have sent into space to spy on law-abiding Americans. Equipped with technology developed by Handgun Control, Inc., these satellites have the ability to detect firearms from hundreds of kilometers up. That's right, neighbors .. the next time you're out in the backyard exercising your Second Amendment rights, the liberals will see it! These satellites are sensitive enough to tell the difference between a Colt .45 and a .38 Special! And when they detect you with a firearm, their computers cross-reference the address to figure out your name, and then an enormous database housed at Berkeley is updated with information about you.

    Of course, this all works fine during the day, but what about at night? Even the liberals can't control the rotation of the Earth to prevent nightfall from setting in (only Joshua was able to ask for that particular favor!) That's where the "moon" comes in. Powered by nuclear reactors, the "moon" is nothing more than an enormous balloon, emitting trillions of candlepower of gun-revealing light. Piloted by key members of the liberal community, the "moon" is strategically moved across the country, pointing out those who dare to make use of their God-given rights at night!

    Yes, I know this probably sounds paranoid and preposterous, but consider this. Despite what the revisionist historians tell you, there is no mention of the "moon" anywhere in literature or historical documents -- anywhere -- before 1950. That is when it was initially launched. When President Josef Kennedy, at the State of the Union address, proclaimed "We choose to go to the moon", he may as well have said "We choose to go to the weather balloon." The subsequent faking of a "moon" landing on national TV was the first step in a long history of the erosion of our constitutional rights by leftists in this country. No longer can we hide from our government when the sun goes down.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @06:12AM (#23322172)

    In Star Wars when Luke looks up at the sky and sees several moons I always wondered.

    But this is scientific proof that the Gospels according to George Lucas are the truth.
    That's no moon!
  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @06:29AM (#23322264)

    This "many moons" phenomenon was occasionally seen at my university quite some time in the past. The moons appeared as pale, bifurcated disks in the darkness around the president's residence, often after the end of final exams.

  • by laejoh (648921) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @07:00AM (#23322428)

    So what you're trying to say is:

    That's no moon [xkcd.com]!

  • by mcamino (970752) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @07:11AM (#23322504)
    I think Cher and Milton Berle were dating at that time.
  • by line-bundle (235965) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @08:37AM (#23323174) Homepage Journal
    Cheddar, Gouda, Parmesan etc..

    The swiss got to the other moons before NASA and mined them clean.

    I stand by my theory.
  • by WheresMyDingo (659258) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @09:16AM (#23323536)
    234) When traveling back in time to when the Earth had many moons, using the phrase "not in many moons" to describe the passage of time will only get you blank stares and instantly label you as an outsider (assuming you've managed to blend in with the local environment otherwise).
  • by mgblst (80109) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @09:49AM (#23323906) Homepage
    Well, its gotta feel good, doesn't it. You don't get people shooting up in the arm, doing armed robbery, prostituting themselves for a packet of lifesavers, do you?
  • by value_added (719364) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @10:07AM (#23324078)
    I have a theory, too. Only it's about brontosauruses.

    Miss A. Elk

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas