News Stories

How Moons are Made (Bang! Pow!)

The Earth may once have had TWO moons--a smaller one and a larger one--which ended up crashing into each other, producing the single moon we have now. This would explain the mystery of why the near and far sides of the lunar surface are so different.

The near side of the Moon--the one we can see from Earth--is flat and cratered while the rarely-seen far side has tall mountain ranges. The impact would have made the moon lopsided and reoriented it so that one side always faces Earth.

In BBC News, Matt McGrath quotes astronomer Martin Jutzi as saying, "It was a rather gentle collision, slower than the speed of sound--that's important because it means no huge shocks or melting was produced."

An alternate theory is that the moon is the result of an impact in which a Mars-sized planet called Theia collided with the earth about 4 billion years ago. The impact would have ejected debris into Earth's orbit, which eventually came together to form the moon. In Discovery News, Stuart Gary quotes Jutzi as saying, "Hopefully in future, a sample return or a manned mission would certainly help to say more about which theory is more probable."

Information sometimes comes with a knock on the door--and least that's what happened to Whitley when the Master of the Key barged in on him. Whitley took notes and eventually published The Key. Now he has checked out everything that MOTKE told him and published a NEW edition, with a foreword that tells about all the scientific discoveries that have since been made that validate his wise words. The Key is in bookstores NOW, or you can get it from the Whitley Strieber Collection (and if you do it will come with an autographed bookplate that Whitley designed himself).



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