The Earth's Moon

Homework 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Is there a good scientific question? Is there a good explanation for why the topic/question is worthy of research? Is there a good hypothesis (if / then)? Are there at least 10 quality sources? Will the project need special approval? What questions or comments do you have for the person?

The Earths Moon 09.10.07 / 09.11.07 Concept: The Moon EQ: What hypotheses have been

developed to explain the evolution of the Moon? Earth's Moon General characteristics Size unusually large relative to the Earth Most satellites are much smaller than

their parent planets. Density Comparable to Earth's crust Too low to contain a significant iron core

Earth's Moon General characteristics No atmosphere Tectonics no longer active Surface is bombarded by small meteorites which slowly smoothes the landscape Oldest rocks are about 4.5 by, in

contrast to Earths oldest rock, which 3.8 by Lunar topography Lunar Surface Two types of terrain Maria (singular, mare), Latin for

"sea Highlands, English for land that is high Lunar surface Maria Dark region Fairly smooth lowlands

Originated from asteroid impacts and lava flooding the surface Form most of the near side of Moon Were once thought to be seas because of their dark color Formation of Maria

Lunar surface Lunar highlands Bright, densely cratered regions Bright, densely cratered regions Make up most of the Moon Make up nearly all of the far side of the Moon Older than maria

Craters Produced by an impact from a meteoroid which produces Ejecta Rays (associated with younger craters)

Craters within craters are common Crater layering can be used for relative dating A 20-kilometer-wide crater

on the Moon The Copernicus crater is 93 km wide. Graphic: from Lunar and Planetary Institute Earths Moon Central

Peaks The physics of large impacts are mindboggling. The rocks are subjected to stresses hundreds of times their failure strengths. This means that the rocks effectively behave as if they were water. They flow plastically as if they were fluids.

Source: Source: Check up How are central peaks formed?

What are maria? Why are highlands more cratered than maria? What is a major visual difference between the near side and far side of the Moon? Lunar Regolith

Regolith means blanket Covers all lunar terrains Gray, unconsolidated debris Soil-like layer produced by meteoric bombardment

Varies in depth from about 2 20 meters Regolith on earth produced by weathering Lunar Regolith

Where did it come from? Hypothesis 1: fission (daughter) Moon was ejected from Earth Mathematical models show it is impossible

Hypothesis 2: coaccretion (sister) Earth and Moon formed together from same material Cannot explain Moons lack of core Hypothesis

3: capture (spouse) Moon was another planet caught by Earths gravity Cannot explain why Moon and Earth are so chemically similar This is very unlikely to ever happen Giant Impact Hypothesis

A Mars-sized object hit the Earth in our planets early history Material was ejected into orbit and formed Moon Has been supported by mathematical model Explains why the Moon:

is very similar in age to Earth has identical materials to Earths crust does not have an iron core Check up Describe

the three models of Lunar evolution that were replaced by the giant impact hypothesis. Describe evidence for the giant impact hypothesis Why are regolith on highlands thicker than on maria?

How can scientists determine relative ages of Lunar craters?

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