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The Moon may have formed in a nuclear explosion
PhysOrg ^ | 1/28/10 | Lin Edwards

Posted on 01/30/2010 12:03:32 AM PST by LibWhacker

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new theory suggests the Moon was formed after a natural nuclear explosion in the Earth's mantle rather than after the impact of a massive object with the Earth, as previously thought.

The problem with the impact hypothesis is that simulations calculate the Moon should be composed of 80% impactor and 20% Earth, whereas in fact the isotope ratios of light and heavy elements found in Moon rocks so far examined are virtually identical to those on Earth.

The fission hypothesis is an alternative explanation for the formation of the moon, and it predicts similar isotope ratios in the Moon and Earth. The hypothesis (credited to Charles Darwin’s son George in 1879) is that the Earth and Moon began as a mass of molten rock spinning rapidly enough that gravity was just barely greater than the centrifugal forces. Even a slight kick could dislodge part of the mass into orbit, where it would become the Moon. The hypothesis has been around for 130 years, but was rejected because no one could explain a source of the energy required to kick a moon-sized blob of molten rock into orbit.

Dutch scientists Rob de Meijer (University of the Western Cape) and Wim van Westrenen (Amsterdam’s VU University) think they know the answer. Their hypothesis is that the centrifugal forces would have concentrated heavy elements like thorium and uranium on the equatorial plane and at the Earth core-mantle boundary. If the concentrations of these radioactive elements were high enough, this could have led to a nuclear chain reaction that became supercritical, causing a nuclear explosion.

De Meijer and van Westrenen calculate the concentration of radioactive elements could have been high enough for a supercritical nuclear reaction to take place. After it became supercritical the Earth basically became a natural nuclear georeactor that exploded and ejected into orbit the lunar-sized blob that became the Moon.

The researchers suggest the hypothesis explains the identical isotopic composition of light and heavy elements, and further propose it could be tested, since the explosion would leave evidence such as xenon-136 and helium-3, which would have been produced in abundance in the georeactor. Confirmation will be complicated by the fact that solar wind deposits these isotopes onto the moon in vast quantities, and that would have to be compensated for.

Georeactors are known to have existed on Earth, such as that at Oklo in the Republic of Gabon in Western Africa, which was operating between 2.0 and 1.5 billion years ago.


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; explosion; formed; jmarvinherndon; lunarcapture; lunarorigin; moon; nuclear; themoon; thomasvanflandern; tvf; vafirsoff

1 posted on 01/30/2010 12:03:32 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

It had to be a huge explosion. I know that georeactors are used in explaning the dynamo theory


2 posted on 01/30/2010 12:07:08 AM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution."-Dr.Werner Von Braun)
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To: KevinDavis; SunkenCiv

/mark


3 posted on 01/30/2010 12:15:16 AM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: LibWhacker
That's no moon...


4 posted on 01/30/2010 12:25:30 AM PST by Talisker (When you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be damn sure it didn't get there on it's own.)
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To: LibWhacker

Why couldn’t the moon and earth have been formed simultaneously? What is the physical evidence this can’t be possible?


5 posted on 01/30/2010 12:31:48 AM PST by Freedom_Is_Not_Free (Depression Countdown: 48... 47... 46...)
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To: sonofstrangelove; LibWhacker
The problem with the impact hypothesis is that simulations calculate the Moon should be composed of 80% impactor and 20% Earth, whereas in fact the isotope ratios of light and heavy elements found in Moon rocks so far examined are virtually identical to those on Earth.

Their hypothesis is that the centrifugal forces would have concentrated heavy elements like thorium and uranium on the equatorial plane and at the Earth core-mantle boundary. If the concentrations of these radioactive elements were high enough, this could have led to a nuclear chain reaction that became supercritical, causing a nuclear explosion.

Granted I do not have their entire hypothesis here but I do see a rather obvious contradiction here.

First they say that isotope ratios of the Earth and moon are nearly identical. Next they follow with the hypothesis that the Earth spinning fast enough to concentrate heavy elements at the equator and a following explosion ejects enough material to form the moon.

If the material ejected to form the moon happened at the proposed time the moon should be either composed of a higher concentration of heavy elements than the Earth or a lower concentration of heavy elements than the Earth.

My guess is that the moon should have a high concentration of heavy elements because the higher concentration of heavy elements at the equator would be the most likely to be ejected because of their greater tangential velocity. .

The other issue I have with this hypothesis is that super critical reactors do not explode unless contained in a pressure vessel. They melt. The only possibility of an uncontained reactor exploding is if some material contained by the reactor reached its flash point. But generally an uncontained reactor reaching super criticality would simply melt and due to its decreased density would simply fall below criticality and shut down.

6 posted on 01/30/2010 12:35:17 AM PST by Pontiac
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To: Freedom_Is_Not_Free

I think orbital mechanics settles that issue.


7 posted on 01/30/2010 12:39:33 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: Freedom_Is_Not_Free
Why couldn’t the moon and earth have been formed simultaneously? What is the physical evidence this can’t be possible?

The mentioned isotopic ratios of elements being nearly identical suggest that the earth and the moon are originally the same body.

If they had formed independently they would have different isotopic ratios because they would have formed of different stuff.

8 posted on 01/30/2010 12:40:33 AM PST by Pontiac
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To: LibWhacker

some creationists believe the moon and some heavenly bodies such as meteorites and asteroids were created when the crust of the world blew apart at the time of the flood.


9 posted on 01/30/2010 12:58:20 AM PST by applpie
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To: applpie

A problem with that “theory” is that the Moon has a molten internal structure.

Also, a massive global explosion would place a debris cloud all around the Earth, and it would not be able to coalesce into the Moon.


10 posted on 01/30/2010 1:04:09 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: LibWhacker

They’re overlooking one teensy weensy little thing, God created the heaven and the earth and the stars (moon).


11 posted on 01/30/2010 1:24:52 AM PST by exnavy (the blood of tyrants or patriots, may God's will prevail.)
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To: LibWhacker
The Moon may have formed in a nuclear explosion
No, its made out of cheese.

Nuclear explosions do not make cheese.
12 posted on 01/30/2010 1:44:15 AM PST by Fichori ('Wee-Weed Up' pitchfork wielding neolithic caveman villager with lit torch. Any questions?)
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To: Fichori; All

Um.....natural nuke.....?

I don’t think so.


13 posted on 01/30/2010 1:46:25 AM PST by Halgr (Once a Marine, always a Marine - Semper Fi)
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To: Halgr

The Sun is a natural nuke - still going off.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_nuclear_fission_reactor


14 posted on 01/30/2010 2:18:42 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: Freedom_Is_Not_Free

To some extent, you are correct. There is a theory that postulates the moon is a spin-off of Earth, during a period when the two masses were about where the Earth is now, caused by centrifugal force, as they cooled, the smaller mass was thrown off and held a geo-synchronous orbit which balances Earth in its location.


15 posted on 01/30/2010 2:46:52 AM PST by ntmxx (I am not so sure about this misdirection!)
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To: James C. Bennett

Do a google on “critical mass”.....the earth nor any other planet in our solar system do not have it.

Nope, not even Jupiter despite Arthur C Clark.

The Sun is 1.3 MILLION times larger by volume than the Earth.

That’s why its a star.

;-)


16 posted on 01/30/2010 3:03:42 AM PST by Halgr (Once a Marine, always a Marine - Semper Fi)
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To: Halgr

Isn’t that for a fusion reaction?

I think what they’re referring to here, is natural uranium undergoing fission and releasing heat.


17 posted on 01/30/2010 3:13:41 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: Talisker

... that's no moon ...

18 posted on 01/30/2010 4:10:44 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: LibWhacker

Who cares? And what difference does it make in my life?


19 posted on 01/30/2010 4:44:41 AM PST by Venturer
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To: James C. Bennett
Hans Bethe would be surprised, as the Sun does not run on fission.

Cheers!

20 posted on 01/30/2010 6:35:01 AM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Pontiac
I wonder if pressures at the core-mantle boundary are great enough? Just speculation, but I'm assuming the explosion occurred there and blew material in the crust and mantle outward, leaving the core intact. Thus the moon lacks an iron core.

Right,they're going to have to come up with more evidence to convince me, but... interesting theory.

21 posted on 01/30/2010 6:42:34 AM PST by LibWhacker (America awake!)
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To: Quix

Might be of interest to you.


22 posted on 01/30/2010 8:36:34 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

THX. Will check it out.

Blessings,


23 posted on 01/30/2010 9:37:27 AM PST by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 TRAITORS http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: grey_whiskers

Yes, it runs on fusion.

But these “geo-reactors” are mentioned as to be running on fission, not fusion.


24 posted on 01/30/2010 10:31:51 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: grey_whiskers

I meant the first ‘it’ in reference to the Sun.


25 posted on 01/30/2010 10:32:31 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: LibWhacker

Yet another example of why scientific “theories” should never be taken too seriously.


26 posted on 01/30/2010 11:00:00 AM PST by Touch Not the Cat
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To: LibWhacker

27 posted on 01/30/2010 11:05:21 AM PST by Eepsy (www.pioacademy.org)
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To: LibWhacker
I wonder if pressures at the core-mantle boundary are great enough?

My understanding of the theory is that this would have occurred prior to the solidification of the Earth. Even if there crust had formed a critical mass of Uranium would be hot enough to melt the crust and rise to the surface.

28 posted on 01/30/2010 3:11:16 PM PST by Pontiac
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To: KoRn; 75thOVI; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; ...
Thanks KoRn! Not only related to J. Marvin Herndon (someone mentioned georeactors up top), but also the late Tom Van Flandern (non-nuclear fission origin of the Moon was one of his). Naturally, I'll also include a link to "When the Days Were Shorter".
 
Catastrophism
 
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29 posted on 01/31/2010 5:50:55 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Happy New Year! Freedom is Priceless.)
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http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/jmarvinherndon/index


30 posted on 01/31/2010 5:51:56 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Happy New Year! Freedom is Priceless.)
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Note: this topic is from January 2010.

Moon Has Iron Core, Lunar-Rock Study Says

Moon Has Iron Core, Lunar-Rock Study Says

new gravity map of the Earth

new gravity map of the Earth

31 posted on 10/18/2010 8:46:16 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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