If the Moon hadn’t been spinning so fast in its infancy. That is the latest theory as to why the Moon is shaped more like a lemon than a bulging beach ball.
At least so says a US team lead by Ian Garrick-Bethell, from the University of California Santa Cruz. When the team calculated the effect on the shape of the early Moon, when it was mostly liquid beneath a thin outer crust of rock, the tidal and rotational forces made it lemon-like.
Prof Garrick-Bethell came up with this theory to check out after seeing data about Jupiter’s moon’s Europa. It also has a thin crust and an active inner core.
It is difficult to say that this is the exact cause of the Moon’s shape, because the Moon is probably now just a solid piece of rock since it cooled of millions of years ago. So the theory, while still good, will take a long time to verify.
First we need to build a Moon Base….we could name it Alpha! P.S. I loved that show.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +