The Moon's Two Sides Look So Different Thanks To 4.5 Billion-Year-Old Physics (Synopsis)

“Cheap little rhymes
A cheap little tune
Are sometimes as dangerous
As a sliver of the moon.” -Langston Hughes

4.5 billion years ago, a giant object collided with our proto-Earth, kicking up debris that eventually coalesced into the Moon.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

While the near side contains dark maria and lunar lowlands, the far side is almost exclusive heavily cratered, high-mountainous regions. This was a mystery for a long time, but it appears that heating from the hot, young Earth caused a chemical and crustal difference between the two faces.

Images credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / LRO. Images credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / LRO.

There's a whole lot we've finally learned about our nearest neighbor; come find out the latest here!

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“4.5 billion years ago, a giant object collided with our proto-Earth, kicking up debris that eventually coalesced into the Moon.”

Really, Ethan?
I wasn’t aware all space scientists bought into this.
However, I WAS aware that for even those who do buy into it, numerous empirical problems exist - one of which is the alleged and unproven accretion process (“coalesced into the Moon”).

This article just assumes, as you do, that accretion happened, but addresses other problems with your theory:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v520/n7546/full/nature14333.html#a…

By See Noevo (not verified) on 19 Nov 2015 #permalink

"Really, Ethan?
I wasn’t aware all space scientists bought into this."

Really, see nowt, you moron? You think that what Ethan says has to be accepted by 100.000000000% of all space scientists before you'll accept any space scientists saying it???

Tell me, do 100% of christians accept that there is no such thing as evolution? No? Then why do you keep claiming that there is no evolution???

"As far as I know" is really creotard weasel for "I'm just going to blather on and pretend I'm right, but it's not MY fault, I didn't know better!".

Your idiocy is not as worthy of consideration as someone's expertise.

Hey, and where's all that undisputed and universally accepted proof of your god?

Seems you only demand proof when you don't want to accept the conclusion.

Typically creotard.

Interesting, I've always wondered about that.

Many years ago there was a plan floated to lighten the near-side of the moon to increase the amount of visible light returned to earth. The thought was that any time the moon was at half or greater people could save energy by turning off the lights. Free lighting; what could go wrong?

It was proposed to simply spray paint the near side of the moon. The plan fell through when someone did a back of envelope calculation of how much paint would be needed and how costly it would be to get it to the moon. Turns out the moon is pretty big, and a considerable distance away.

The small matter of disruption of the natural world, and likely climate change, didn't come up given the consciousness of the later 60s, but would effectively nail the lid shut on the idea if someone had bothered to look into it.

Different times, there was a boundless sense of optimism and faith in our ability to engineer a better world. The thought was that if you could define it, and draw a picture of it, you could build it and make it work. Smart guys with pocket protectors would make it all work out and we would all be living a better life.

Perhaps we went too far. Perhaps we have now gone too far in the opposite direction.

Ideas now need an ROI and a benefit for the stockholder meeting at the end of the year.

Because god forfend we should do anything with money other than make more of it...

@Art #4

I'm glad it is so far away and so big. You just know that if it were a reasonable job, they wouldn't spray paint the near side white. They'd paint corporate logos, because the whole world needs to know you could save 15% on your car insurance in 15 minutes by calling Geico. If they'd had the technology in the 70's, we'd probably still be looking at an ad for Marlboro.