Moon Morphology and Geology: What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 20 May 2019



Moon Impact Image
Planetary Demolition Derby
Moon Impact Image, Planetary Demolition Derby, NASA/JPL-Caltech.
New research suggests the stark difference between the Moon’s heavily-cratered farside and the lower-lying open basins of the nearside were caused by a wayward dwarf planet colliding with the Moon in the early history of the solar system, thanks to NASA/JPL-Caltech.*


Moon: What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been

Giant Impact Caused Difference Between Moon's Hemispheres,
American Geophysical Union, May 20, 2019.


Very Different Faces of the Moon
"...stark difference between the Moon’s heavily-cratered farside and the lower-lying open basins of the Earth-facing nearside has puzzled scientists for decades."

GRAIL Gravity Survey
"Measurements made by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission in 2012 filled in more details about the structure of the Moon..."

"...its crust is thicker and includes an extra layer of material on its farside."

When Planets Collide
" evidence about the Moon’s crust suggests the differences were caused by a wayward dwarf planet colliding with the Moon in the early history of the solar system."

It Fits
Scientists, "...ran 360 computer simulations of giant impacts with the Moon to find out whether such an event millions of years ago could reproduce the crust of today’s Moon as detected by GRAIL."

"The giant impact model also provides a good explanation for the unexplained differences in isotopes of potassium, phosphorus and rare-earth elements like tungsten-182 between the surfaces of the Earth and Moon."

Big Slow Rock
"...the best fit for today’s asymmetrical Moon is a large body, about 480 miles (780 kilometers) in diameter, smacking into the nearside of the Moon at 14,000 miles per hour (22,500 kilometers per hour)."

Smaller Faster Rock
"Another good fit for the impact combinations the team modeled is a slightly smaller, 450-mile (720-kilometer) diameter, object hitting at a mildly faster 15,000 miles per hour (24,500 kilometers per hour)."

Extra-Planetary Geology
"...several planets have hemispherical dichotomies, the implications of the work could likely be broader than just the Moon.”


Bottom Line

A, "fortunate," series of Big Rocks from Space accounts for much about our present environment. One was responsible both the existence of the Moon and depositing oceans of water onto Earth, as we can see below, and another, as we see above, for, "remodeling," the Moon into its present configuration, and a third Big Rock from Space, the one that swept the Dinos away, clearing the stage for the rise of humans.

Those are three, "lucky," big rocks, as far as humans are concerned. At this point in time I'd say Big Rocks are no longer lucky for humans!

Big Rocks from Space are regular occurrences over cosmic time, acting both to, "set the stage," that life plays itself out upon, as well as closing down the show and resetting the scenery, every now and again.

We were once the beneficiary of Big Rock action, but presently we are as set up as were the Dinos. Or, maybe we are this era's, "Big Rock," being equally capable as a Big Rock from Space of radically shifting all Earth's balances, our difference being that despite shifting the climate balances as much as the Big Rock, we are doing it over a few centuries, rather than the few seconds it took the last Big Rock to change life forever.

The salient fact is that Earth changes forever, independent of the blow falling over seconds or centuries.

Big Rocks from Space
Humans are equal to The Big Volcano and The Big Rock from Space?



Making the Moon

Messy Explanation of the Messy Formation of the Moon

New Moon Formation Theory: Inside a vaporized Earth "synestia"


Ice on Moon

Ice Found on the Moon


How the Earth got its Water

Direct to Article
Formation of the Moon brought Water to Earth,
University of Münster, May 21, 2019.


4.4 Billion Years Ago
"...water came to Earth with the formation of the Moon some 4.4 billion years ago. The Moon was formed when Earth was hit by a body about the size of Mars, also called Theia."

"...can now show that Theia comes from the outer solar system, and it delivered large quantities of water to Earth."



Back to the Moon?

2018 American Space Policy: Gateway to Moon or Giant Leap into Quicksand?



Measuring Earth's Gravity

GRACE Gravity Survey Measures the Masses of Climate Changes


Fundamental Force

Gravity waves influence weather and climate


Measuring Gravity

LIGO Neutron Star Merger Detection, Four LIGO Articles: Gravity Waves Shine Visible Light on Gold, Gamma Rays, and a Gravity Hole


About the Image
*This artist's concept shows a celestial body about the size of our moon slamming at great speed into a body the size of Mercury. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found evidence that a high-speed collision of this sort occurred a few thousand years ago around a young star, called HD 172555, still in the early stages of planet formation. The star is about 100 light-years from Earth, from Planetary Demolition Derby, NASA/JPL-Caltech.



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