The Moon, it’s said, is an anomaly with so many freakish coincidences surrounding its existence that it must be a big, fat fake…
Even to the world’s best scientific minds, the Moon is a mystery of gargantuan proportions. Nobody knows how it was formed, and the most popular hypothesis—that a planet-sized rock called Theia smashed into Earth, ejecting a lump of rock into space that later became the Moon—has recently been thrown into doubt.
Even Irwin Shapiro, an astrophysicist and former director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said:
“The Moon is bigger than it should be, apparently older than it should be and much lighter in mass than it should be. It occupies an unlikely orbit and is so extraordinary that all existing explanations for its presence are fraught with difficulties and none of them could be considered remotely watertight.”
There’s no escaping the fact that the Moon is damned odd. Here are some examples of its weirdness:
- It’s too big. The Moon is bloody huge compared to all the other moons in the Solar System. Author and professor of biochemistry Isaac Asimov argues that the Moon ought to be tiny, only about 30 miles in diameter, yet it’s actually 2,160 miles.
- The Moon is responsible for 80% of the Earth’s constant rotation. In relation to all the other planets and moons in our Solar System, the value’s less than 1%.
- Every planet and moon in the Solar System has different, unique isotopic ratios, and yet the Moon’s are the same as Earth’s. You might think that the ‘giant impact’ hypothesis or ‘whack theory’ explains this—because the Moon is a bit of Earth that broke off. But, in laymen’s terms, whack theory says that the impact would’ve caused the Earth and Theia to melt. The molten debris that eventually became the Moon would’ve mixed with Theia and re-formed in a completely different way to the Earth. This should’ve resulted in different isotopic ratios, but didn’t. Because, well, the Moon’s weird.
- The mother of all coincidences is the very nature of a total eclipse. The Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun and 400 times closer to the Earth, which is why it completely obscures the Sun during an eclipse. Its size and orbit are just right. What are the chances?