Because it has not always been there, or so Alexander von Humboldt suggested after recording oral history of the natives from the Bogota highlands in the eastern Cordilleras of Colombia. In his “Researches Concerning the Institutions and Monuments of the Ancient Inhabitants of America“ ((1814), vol. I, p. 87”), he relates some of their tribal reminiscences to the time before there existed a Moon. “In the earliest times, when the moon was not yet in the heavens,” say the tribesmen of Chibchas. (I. Velikovsky)
There are, surprisingly many earlier records describing a time when Earth did not have a Moon and some of these histories have been collected by Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky in a document entitled ‘Earth Without The Moon’. In that chapter he sites work by Aristotle, Democritus and Anaxagoras, Apollonius of Rhodes, Plutarch and even Scripture describing a time before there was a Moon:
“In Job 25:5 the grandeur of the Lord who “Makes peace in the heights” is praised and the time is mentioned “before [there was] a moon and it did not shine.” Also in Psalm 72:5 it is said: “Thou wast feared since [the time of] the sun and before [the time of] the moon, a generation of generations.” A “generation of generations” means a very long time.”
A long time perhaps, but not the 3.8 (+/- 0.3) Billion years hypothesized by science in a long-standing theory that the Moon was made at the same time, and with the same materials as Earth. There are currently five theories on the evolution of the moon proposed by science, however many of them are falling by the wayside as more information on the structure of the moon and the composition of its crust comes to light. In no particular order they are:
The Fission Theory: The Moon was once part of the Earth and somehow separated from the Earth early in the history of the Solar System. The present Pacific Ocean basin is the most popular site for the part of the Earth from which the Moon came.
The Capture Theory: The Moon was formed somewhere else, and was later captured by the gravitational field of the Earth.
The Condensation Theory: The Moon and the Earth condensed together from the original nebula that formed the Solar System.
The Colliding Planetesimals Theory: The interaction of earth-orbiting and Sun-orbiting planetesimals (very large chunks of rocks like asteroids) early in the history of the Solar System led to their breakup. The Moon condensed from this debris.
The Ejected Ring Theory: A planetesimal the size of Mars struck the earth, ejecting large volumes of matter. A disk of orbiting material was formed, and this matter eventually condensed to form the Moon in orbit around the Earth.
Moon rocks brought back to Earth by the various manned and un-manned missions undertaken by the U.S. and the USSR have been studied extensively over the past thirty years and there appears to be little similarity between what the Earth is made of and what is found on the moon. A table of seven moon rock composition from five Apollo mission is provided at this page of Dr. Bernard Gunn who says of his research:
“In general the rocks are basaltic with flat or negative slope REE (rare earth elements) and normalised patterns, and are all very depleted in volatiles and volatile elements. H2O and CO2 are completely lacking, and Na, K, Rb, are always very low, while REE are relatively high especially in the lunar “Soils” or glass droplets formed by impact melting.”
Author Jim Marrs has also summarized much of the lunar research that is available to the public and offers some interesting observations, not the least of which is that moon rocks are slightly magnetized but there is no magnetic field on the moon. He states; “Experts were surprised to find lunar rocks bearing brass, mica and amphibole in addition to the near-pure titanium. Uranium 236 and neptunium 237—elements not previously found in nature—were discovered in moon rocks, according to the Argonne National Laboratory. While still trying to explain the presence of these materials, scientists were further startled to learn of rust-proof iron particles in a soil sample from the Sea of Crisis. In 1976, the Associated Press reported that the Soviets had announced the discovery of iron particles that “do not rust” in samples brought back by an unmanned moon mission in 1970. Iron that does not rust is unknown in nature and well beyond present Earth technology.” (See also the rust-free iron pillar at Delhi, India which is at least 1,600 years old).
So it would seem that the Fission Theory, the Condensation Theory and the Ejected Ring Theory are no longer applicable as their basic assumption is a common make up of Earth and the moon. It would be a leap forward in geological knowledge if ‘we’ could take a deep core sample on the moon but attempts by astronauts to drill through the surface have been limited to a few centimetres; their efforts hampered by the titanium and processed metals which make up the outer lunar crust. So dense is the lunar surface that a large bolide strike which would leave a 30 kilometre deep crater on Earth, has left only a 12 kilometre deep crater on the moon; this is the Mare Imbrium, one of the largest craters in the known Solar system, with a diameter of 1146 kilometres.
If our moon were constructed like the Earth, its crust would be basalt/lava with some minimal surface erosion deposits which is underlain by a liquid mantle and material with a density that increases with depth until an iron core is reached at center; the lighter material floats to the surface. Our moon however appears to be constructed in reverse, with the densest material at the surface and a material which decreases in density with depth until there is…nothing? We don’t know. If the moon had a liquid mantle below its crust, the large bolide impacts which have already penetrated the lunar crust have done so to depths sufficient to allow magma release but after thirty years of searching the Mare Imbrium crater there has been no evidence of mantle material found; only surface material melted by the impact.
What we do know about the construction of the moon has been bolstered by the recent GRAIL lunar mission, which places two satellites in orbit together, flying a fixed and closely monitored distance apart above the lunar surface. As these two fly over different densities of material in the lunar crust the changing gravitational fields of lighter and denser material alter the satellites flight path relative to each other and these minute changes in position are used to plot a gravity map of the lunar crust. Massive concentrations of high density ‘material’ lying several kilometres within or below the lunar crust, which have perturbed the orbits of previous lunar craft, have now been accurately mapped and there are some interesting results. Along with the fact that the lunar crust is confirmed to be only 39 kilometres deep (+/- 4 Km), an issue when looking at bolide impact excavation depth, the gravity map shows that the massive concentrations of high density material have similar characteristics; they are circular, flattened discs, they lay directly below the center of what we believe are large craters at a depth of 30 to 40 kilometres and four fifths of them face the earth.
It would seem that the more we learn about our moon, the more questions arise. For instance the first seismic equipment installed on the moon was thought to be faulty because during its initial tests the instrument recorded resonance vibrations for more than half an hour; far longer than it would have on Earth. Subsequent seismic testing with more and newer equipment has shown that the first readings were not in error and in fact the moon reverberates like a bell when its surface is impacted by small meteors or by space craft intentionally crashed onto it. More troubling still are the swarms of small quakes which occur at exactly the same spot on the moon when it is in various positions around the Earth; more like the harmonic vibration of a loose car part than a naturally occurring tectonic grumble.
Last but certainly not all of, nor the least of the lunar unknowns is how the moon arrived at its present position. One of the remaining theories about the origins of our moon is the Capture theory, which suggests the moon was created elsewhere in the universe and as it was ambling through space, found itself caught up in Earths gravitational pull. Having ruled out the possibility that the moon was created at the same time as the Earth or that the lunar composition is the same as Earths, the Capture theory would seem the most probable; until you look at the physics.
According to scientist and author Isaac Asimov: “It’s too big to have been captured by the Earth. The chances of such a capture having been effected and the moon then having taken up nearly circular orbit around our Earth are too small to make such an eventuality credible.”
From the perspective of what we know about other planets and their moons, our relationship with the moon is unique in many ways, one being its circular, stationary orbit. Unlike other observed moons with elliptical orbits, ours orbits in an almost perfect circle relative to the Earths center and it faces us with one side only. Similarly, our moons’ center of gravity is almost 2 kilometres away from its’ physical center (towards Earth) and there exists a noticeable ‘bulge’ on the far side, away from Earth, making the moon an unlikely candidate for such a smooth orbit because of its off-kilter eccentricity. Unlike other lunar bodies in our Solar system the moon does not orbit the earth at our equatorial plane but instead is off by about 5% and more inline with Earths orbital plane around the sun.
At this moment in time the position of our moon relative to Earth exerts a gravitational pull that is responsible for tide energy in large bodies of water, some seismic energy in our crustal plates and possibly the behaviour of many animal species, man included. It orbits at a speed and altitude that is perfectly designed to keep the moon on track and as an added bonus our moon eclipses the Sun in such a way that we can still see the suns filaments dancing at the moons edges; something no other known moon offers its home planet. Yet has it always been sitting at this spot or has Earth undergone different strengths of gravitational pull by a moon that might drift from one orbital distance to the next? Dr. Velikovsky offers a bit more history of our moon:
““Since the time the Moon began to accompany the Earth, it underwent the influence of contacts with comets and planets that passed near the Earth in subsequent ages. The mass of the Moon being less than that of the Earth, the Moon must have suffered greater disturbances in cosmic contacts. During these contacts the Moon was not carried away: this is due to the fact that no body more powerful than the Earth came sufficiently close to the Moon to take it away from the Earth for good; but in the contacts that took place the Moon was removed repeatedly from one orbit to another.
The variations in the position of the Moon can be read in the variations in the length of the month. The length of the month repeatedly changed in subsequent catastrophic events—and for this there exists a large amount of supporting evidence. In these later occurrences the Moon played a passive role, and Zeus in the Iliad advised it (Aphrodite) to stay out of the battle in which Athene and Ares (Venus and Mars) were the main contestants.
Many traditions persist that at some time in the past the Moon was much brighter than it is now, and larger in appearance than the Sun. In many rabbinical sources it is stated that the Sun and the Moon were equally bright at first. The same statement was made to Bernardino de Sahagun by the aborigines of the New World: “the Sun and the moon had equal light in the past.” At the other end of the world the Japanese asserted the same: the Nihongi Chronicle says that in the past “the radiance of the moon was next to that of the sun in splendour.”
Traditions of many peoples maintain that the Moon lost a large part of its light and became much dimmer than it had been in earlier ages.
In order that the Sun and the Moon should give off comparable light, the Moon must have had an atmosphere with a high albedo (refracting power) or it must have been much closer to the earth. In the latter case the Moon would have appeared larger than the Sun. In fact, the Babylonian astronomers computed the visible diameter of the Sun as only two-thirds of the visible diameter of the Moon, which makes a relation of four to nine for the illuminating surfaces. This measure surprised modern scholars, who are aware of the exactness of the measurements made by the Babylonian astronomers and who reason that during the eclipses one can easily observe the approximate equality of the visible disks.””
For something that is so important to our every day lives, we know so little about our moon and appear to care even less. After the end of Americas’ Apollo era and the excitement those early missions created around the world, it is as though we have lost interest in moon; these days more occupied by fear of terror, of our environment and of our next door neighbour. Yet detailed exploration of the moon has continued outside of main stream media by India, China, Russia Japan, the United States and even Great Britain, which plans to survey the lunar surface for a future settlement. NASA plans to build a way-station on the moon to launch future Mars missions and there is no doubt that other nations will follow Great Britain and the U.S. in wanting their own piece of the lunar surface.
So what is the difference between our public fascination with the moon in 1969 and now, when many developed countries plan to spend a big chunk of their GDP on getting there? Have we become so jaded by science fiction and personal technology that mysteries in our own back yard have become irrelevant? I cannot help but wonder at the absence of press releases and television specials that should be available with every new lunar announcement and discovery and I grow suspicious at the lack of press surrounding the expenditure of public funds on moon bases. Would not the prospect of discovering a hollow moon or great loads of expensive minerals or even alien moon bases be exciting to the public? I am certain that it would, if the public were as informed about it as they are about hamster bottoms and talentless pop singers, but as long as government imposed restrictions on the release of scientific information continues, the public will have to learn on its own.
Remember that the price of security should not cost your freedom; looking outside of main stream media for your answers is scary but hiding behind that media is worse.