Skip to comments.The Moon may have formed in a nuclear explosion
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 Darwins 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 (Amsterdams 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.
It had to be a huge explosion. I know that georeactors are used in explaning the dynamo theory
Why couldn’t the moon and earth have been formed simultaneously? What is the physical evidence this can’t be possible?
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.
I think orbital mechanics settles that issue.
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.
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.
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.
They’re overlooking one teensy weensy little thing, God created the heaven and the earth and the stars (moon).
The Moon may have formed in a nuclear explosionNo, its made out of cheese.
I don’t think so.
The Sun is a natural nuke - still going off.
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.
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.
Isn’t that for a fusion reaction?
I think what they’re referring to here, is natural uranium undergoing fission and releasing heat.
... that's no moon ...
Who cares? And what difference does it make in my life?
Right,they're going to have to come up with more evidence to convince me, but... interesting theory.
Might be of interest to you.
THX. Will check it out.
Yes, it runs on fusion.
But these “geo-reactors” are mentioned as to be running on fission, not fusion.
I meant the first ‘it’ in reference to the Sun.
Yet another example of why scientific “theories” should never be taken too seriously.
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.
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