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NASA Space Science

Watch How the Moon Was Formed 56

itwbennett writes "A pair of NASA videos released today show the moon as you've never seen it before. In one video, you get an up-close tour of the moon's craters, thanks to video and images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. In the other, you can watch an animation of the moon's creation and evolution."
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Watch How the Moon Was Formed

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  • How did they narrow down the timescale of the events to be so specific without any samples?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by HeavyDDuty ( 2506392 )
      At NASA we don't take chances , we double up on everything... including guesswork.
    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      Most of the times had at least a billion years range. Is that narrow for you?

      Craters are usually dated by looking at how many craters are superimposed on them and making estimates based on expected bombardment rates.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @06:20PM (#39358455)

    This does not correspond at all to how my pastor says the earth, the moon, the sun, and everything else was created. Why should I believe what NASA has to say?

    - Jim from Arkansas

    • Obvious troll as the real Jim from Arkansas would not say "how my pastor says" but "how the Bible says" or "how God says". Attributing the pastor indicates some level of critical thinking that could make this question somewhat legitimate: "Why should I believe NASA? What evidence do they have beyond the circumstantial?"

    • by siddesu ( 698447 )

      No, it doesn't, you're not careful, my son. Not only does the video show the Moon after it was initially shaped by the hand of God, it also showed God's hand during its changing through the aeons. Consider the sounds of all those explosions from the stones God threw at the moon. The mad scientists would have you believe you can't hear them in space, but by God's will you heard them loud and clear.

      Sincerely, your father Porphirios.

    • I'm not sure what's more depressing - that this 6000 year joke is made EVERY time such a story appears on slashdot, or that it's modded +5 Funny EVERY time.

      If your wish is to marginalise the religious then the best course of action is to just ignore them.
      • by lemur3 ( 997863 )

        If your wish is to marginalise the religious then the best course of action is to just ignore them.

        but, one cant register their superiority that way!!

    • by chinton ( 151403 )
      Sorry, Jim. Your pastor is an idiot. Not even the Vatican believes in the 6000-year-old universe.
  • by phonewebcam ( 446772 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @06:23PM (#39358483) Homepage

    Who says it's hollow, and was towed here by aliens [].

  • Didn't the moon impact the earth at one point? Isn't that why it's fairly lopsided?
    • Re:Earth impact? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rollgunner ( 630808 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @06:56PM (#39358745)
      The Large-Impact Hypothesis is the current consensus. One smaller protoplanet grazed a larger one, leaving a large chunk of itself behind. The larger became the Earth, the smaller, the moon.

      As to why the Lunar crust is (believed to be) about 1/3 thicker of the far side than the near side, no one is quite sure.
    • by MickLinux ( 579158 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @08:26PM (#39359527) Journal

      Based on recent articles in the Physics Today, the moon is almost entirely made of Earth Mantle. Therefore, the viewpoint of a georeactor megavolcano probably is more likely.

      Based on recent articles in Science News, it seems that in the formation of Kimberlite rock, there is a reaction which can send the magma into orbit, basically with carbon dioxide being the rocket fuel.

      Referencing back to a Slashdot article not too long ago, the main structure of the moon is from two smaller moons colliding in a fairly slow collision.

      Based on the new kimberlites found in a huge ring of 950-mi radius all around the Hudson, and the age of the Hudson rock [ the margin of error in rock dating, plus the fact that georeactors will throw off the Uranium isotope counts but perhaps not the Pb/Pb counts, allow for the probability], I'd say that the Hudson is one likely origin of the moon.

      *But* that doesn't mean I don't think a much smaller asteroid triggered it. Based on the probability that georeactors will create enough vapor pressure to keep themselves from getting dense enough to go critical, it would take a large, sudden, horizontal force on a uranium-laden calcium berg in the mantle, to force it critical. Once it went critical, shock waves in the mantle could trigger another georeactor on the opposite side of the earth.

      My guess, based on all that? 2.1 billion years ago, a relatively small asteroid [that is, not mars-sized] impacted near the south pole at a shallow angle, plowing the submantle south of Tierra Del Fuego, and throwing shocked glass all around South Africa, Antarctica, and Australia. You can see the plowed area in Google Maps, from Del Fuego to the South Sandwich Islands. It triggered a georeactor that exists under the South Sandwich Islands, and at the time was under the Vredefort Crater. The georeactor blew, making the volcanic crater. On the other side of the globe, near where Iceland is today, was another georeactor, with what is now the Hudson Bay above it. That georeactor also blew, creating the bay, shattering the crust all around it, and causing Kimberlate / Lamproite blasts through the shattered crust.

      At that point, you had a huge amount of matter orbiting the earth at relatively slow speeds. Some of it fell back, but a lot of it formed into two moons, which at some point later, merged in a relatively slow collision.

      I can't throw a probability on the scenario, but I tend to think [based on the articles I have read] that that scenario is more probable than any other that has been proposed.

      • 2.1 billion years ago pre-dates our current continent configuration, it pre-dates Pangea, it pre-dates Rodinia, that's around (or even before) Columbia/Nuna. Three super continents have come and gone since then, so Google maps isn't the proof you're looking for.
        • It doesn't predate the Canadian Archon, or Vaalbara, or even possibly Vredefort, or the Hudson Bay structure. Arguably it doesn't predate all the oceanic trenches, nor the alignment of the continental shelf shapes. So there is a lot that has lasted.
      • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

        Actually, I think the guy further up who thinks the moon is hollow and aliens towed it here is going to give you a run for your money on the whole "most probable theory" thing. You guys probably read similar articles though.

  • Strange that they would animate the meteoroid impacts with sound.

    Last I check, there wasn't any sound in the near perfect vacuum of space on and around the moon.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      If you where standing on the moon(presumable in a space suit) then yes, you would here the impact.

      Otherwise, stop being a jack ass, it's for illustration purposes, so they had sound..cause space is freaking boring.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      When the meteroids impacted, they would have caused a broad spectrum of light. That includes light at very low frequencies.

      A few years back, we watched an intense meteor shower. As the meteors became visibly 'fuzzy' and then 'snapped' out of view, we HEARD corresponding sounds. This seemed impossible, but turned out to be real (they weren't delayed by speed of sound). The cause was low frequency light, which was transduced by fine elements around us -- like our hair, and dry grasses.

      So an observer with

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If it bothers you that much, mute your speakers before watching any space-related video.

  • I've read lots about what happens to the earth when the move leaves orbit. but what happens to the moon? does it fly into the sun? towards jupiter? or become a planet of its own?
  • Everyone knows the moon was God's throne he sat on while he created the Earth.

    When he was finished he left it behind.


  • This is cool but (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Verloc ( 119412 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @07:15PM (#39358901)

    It is not "How the moon was formed", it is "Why the moon looks like it does". Still a very cool video.

  • Sound (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkHelmet ( 120004 ) <mark.seventhcycle@net> on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @07:30PM (#39359039) Homepage

    I can't help but wonder... why am I watching a NASA video where the crater's falling on the moon makes sound in a vacuum?

    I know it's artistic license and all, but aren't videos like this reserved for nerds, who actually care about things like accuracy?

    • by Trogre ( 513942 )

      No, they're PR.

      NASA needs to make stuff look and sound as cool as possible at the moment.

    • You might as well ask why there's music, too.
    • by Chozabu ( 974192 )

      I can't help but wonder... why am I watching a NASA video where the crater's falling on the moon makes sound in a vacuum?

      I know it's artistic license and all, but aren't videos like this reserved for nerds, who actually care about things like accuracy?

      Just press the Mute button if it bothers you =P

  • by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @08:57PM (#39359763)
    This much more informative video by the Smashing Pumpkins [] clearly shows that the moon looks like either cheese or some type of cookie. Furthermore it is populated with ugly jumping guys covered with craters that are easily defeated with a parasol or umbrella.
  • Moon watch YOU being formed!

  • So the moon hasn't change significantly in a billion years? Interesting.

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