Why does Earth have a Moon?
Among secular astronomers, the currently-trendy view for the Moon’s origin is a giant impact.
Supposedly, early in Earth’s history, a Mars-sized object crashed into our planet. The collision produced a lot of debris, from which our Moon formed.
This model has numerous problems. There’s more than one which disproves the model entirely.
And now, there’s one more discovery to add to the list.
Back in 2008, scientists discovered that volcanic glass from inside the Moon contains traces of water.
If the giant impact story were true, this would be impossible. Such a collision would be so violent that volatile compounds (including water) would have been vaporized.
So there would be no water inside the Moon today.
Water on the surface of the Moon (which also exists) is not the issue. Hypothetically, surface water could have arrived after the collision: from comets, meteoroids, etc.
But “indigenous” water inside the Moon would be impossible, according to the giant impact theory. And since volcanic glasses originated inside the Moon, then the theory says these glasses can contain no water.
Nevertheless, they do.
A Direct Contradiction
The 2008 discovery disproved the giant impact theory (which was never a good theory anyway, as it has many other problems besides this one). But it didn’t get the attention it deserved.
Many secular astronomers behaved as if this discovery had never happened.
Others were hopeful that perhaps these volcanic glasses came from a portion of the Moon’s interior which had an anomalously high amount of water. Maybe the rest of the Moon’s interior has less. (Which is no explanation at all, because the giant impact theory says the lunar interior can have no water.)
Now even this last excuse has been debunked. More evidence for indigenous water has been discovered.
The study in 2008 had analyzed volcanic glass samples brought back by the Apollo astronauts. This new study uses a different technique, which allows scientists on Earth to remotely study pyroclastic (volcanic) deposits on the Moon that the astronauts didn’t visit.
The new research has confirmed the earlier results. There is “widespread occurrence of water in pyroclastic materials sourced from the deep lunar interior, and thus an indigenous origin.”
Whatever hope there was for explaining away the 2008 evidence, has been dashed.
There’s water throughout the Moon.
So… are secular modelers finally giving up on their impact theory?
No, they aren’t. (Maybe that’s because all the alternative secular models have even worse problems than the impact theory does.)
Instead, some astronomers are offering very implausible stories. Some are saying that perhaps the water was in the Earth originally, and somehow it survived the collision.
But clearly, this is not a credible idea. Nor would the incipient lunar material have had sufficient gravity to retain significant water, even if any had survived.
(There’s also the rather awkward fact that before the water was discovered, secular astronomers used the lack of lunar water as evidence for their impact theory.)
Other astronomers admit that the water couldn’t have originated from before the collision. So they’re suggesting that perhaps all the water came in from meteorites in that (very) short period of time after the collision happened, but before the Moon formed.
Again, this an excuse, not a viable scientific proposal.
These stories tell us nothing about the Moon’s actual history. But they do prove one thing.
Apparently, there’s no such thing as a secular origins story that is too far-fetched.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech