Free Essay

The Origin of the Moon

In: Science

Submitted By envenenar
Words 1805
Pages 8
The Origin of the Moon: discussion on the gradual perfection of proposed hypotheses
Introduction
The Moon is the easiest and most familiar object that human can catch in the clear night. The Moon as known as our Earth’s only natural satellite is indicated by Rick Carlson in recent research to have an age of between 4.40 and 4.45 billion years, which is not long after the origin of the Earth. However, the origin of the Moon is still not defined and further research on this topic is continuous. The exploration of formation of the Moon is gradually per fected by the various proposed theories started from 1878 to nowadays. This research essay will discuss both the past and present hypotheses of origin of the Moon. The past hypotheses also known as “The Big Three” referring to Fission, Capture and Accretion hypotheses are popular in different times and centuries before the Apollo mission flew in 1972 (Tyson, 2000). However, the study on the moon rock brought by Apollo’s program gives unavailable clues for “The Big Three”(Tyson, 2000). Nowadays, the Giant Impact Hypothesis is regarded as the most leading theory that is most accepted in present. Nevertheless, it is widely accepted, some studies supported this theory; others may create new theory to challenge this Giant Impact Hypothesis, which make this hypothesis still arguable. However, whatever these hypotheses failed or will achieve, they bring a better understanding on the formation of planet’s satellites in our Solar System (Zhong, 2013), which is instrumental for further study on planetary science and even galaxy.
The Big Three------The past hypotheses
• Fission Hypothesis
The Fission Hypothesis was proposed by George Howard Darwin, the son of the Charles Darwin (the famous evolutionist) in 1878 and became popular accepted untilApollo’s trip (Tyson, 2000). It is interesting that this hypothesis described the Moon as the daughter of the Earth (Tyson, 2000). His work described the Earth as a rapidly spinning viscous bodies and calculated that the early Earth spun very rapidly at about a 2.5 hour day that gave a centrifugal force that pushed the
Moon out from the Earth, another force is from the Sun’s strong gravity attraction (Anon, 2007). The diagram 1 presents how the Moon is pulled out from the Earth. Furthermore, couple years later,
Osmond Fisher, a geologist, believed that the Pacific Ocean Basin was a scar due to this event (Tyson, 2000). Therefore, during that time, it is taught in school that the Pacific Ocean was formed by the fission of the moon from the Earth’s crust (Anon, 2007). Even though this hypothesis seems to be inconceivable at present, as the first scientific and comprehensive model to explain the formation of the Moon at that time, it had its meaningful values at that time.
Diagram 1. Fission Hypothesis

• Capture Hypothesis
This hypothesis can be easily understood by its literal word-“capture”, which is developed by Thomas Jefferson Jackson in 1909 and was popular until the 1980s (Tyson, 2000). Jackson believed that there might have a large atmosphere around early Earth, which can slow down the movement of the Moon and capture it (David &Nader, 2007). In other words, as the diagram 2 show that he believed that the Moon was like a fly wandering in the space, however, our Earth was like a spider web that attracts this “Fly” using gravity (Tyson, 2000). Furthermore, the unusual large size, non-equatorial orbit and tidally locked orientation of the Moon also give possibility to a capture origin (Anon., 2007).
Diagram 2. Capture Hypothesis
• Accretion Hypothesis
The astronomer Edouard Roche proposed the third theory---Accretion hypothesis, it is believed that both Earth and the Moon were formed from the same material as all other planets in the solar system and they are formed side-by-side independently as it used be (Tyson, 2000). Moreover, it is suggested that the Earth and the Moon were formed together in the solar system, based on the primordial accretion disk double system (Burro, n.d.)
Diagram 3. Accretion Hypothesis

The Failure of “The Big Three”
• Apollo Program
The Apollo program is carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as the third United States human spaceflight program, which achieved human’s first landing on the Moon from 1969 to 1972 (Wikipedia, 2015).Otherwise, the program brought back about 800 pounds of moon rocks and soil samples, which explored a lot facts of the Moon that enhanced people’s understanding of the Moon. As the well known statement proclaimed by Neil Armstrong, "That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."( NASA, 2014) The Apollo’s trip gives human beings a better understanding of the Moon, including the clues that can explain the failure of “The Big Three”.
As the examination of moon rocks’ compositions, it is found that there is no water elements and less volatile elements comparing to Earth rocks, which means much of moon have experience molten activity with a very high temperature that our Earth hasn’t been experienced (Tyson, 2000). Furthermore, the lunar samples showed that moon has much less iron, that is Moon core only account for 3% of its total mass, while by contrast, Earth’s core represents 30% (Tyson, 2000). Therefore, the Fission Hypothesis failed to explain why the Moon lacks of iron if moon is the daughter of the Earth; they should have similar proportional composition of cores (Herres &
Hartmann, 1997). Another reason that Fission Hypothesis failed is much brilliant as itis known that oceanic crust is much younger, as the Pacific basin formed about 70million years ago, while the Moon has an age of about 4-4.5 billion-year-old (Tyson,2000).However, the Earth and the Moon have similar characteristic. The results of radiogenic elements and nonradioactive, stable isotopes of oxygen, shows that they have roughly same age and suggesting that they were formed at same distance from the Sun (Tyson, 2000). All these facts challenged the Capture Hypothesis as it failed to explain why the oxygen isotopes of the Moon rocks match with Earth’s rocks so much (Herres & Hartmann, 1997).Finally, the failure of Accretion Hypothesis is that it failed to explain the total angular momentum and energy in present Earth- Moon system. It is explored that the Earth-Moon has a high angular momentum that is unusual comparing to other planet-satellites in the solar system, since the Moon is more massive relative to Earth(Tyson, 2000). In addition, the second failing point is the same problem as Fission Hypothesis regarding of different proportion of core(Tyson, 2000).

The present hypothesis
The Giant Impact Hypothesis
This Giant Impact Hypothesis is regarded as the leading modern hypothesis for nowadays and accepted widely. It is first proposed by Hartmann and Davis in 1975(Hartmann & Davis, 1975). The general idea is that 4.5 billion years ago, during the time when solar system experienced early accretion evolution, other smaller planetary objects were growing and colliding the Earth while the Earth also experienced formation process (Hartmann & Davis, 1975). However, a fraction of collision debris, which is a Mars-sized, went into orbit that around the Earth and then gradually aggregated into present the Moon (Hartmann & Davis, 1975). This hypothesis explained why the proportion of composition of the Earth and the Moon are different. That is the Earth has a 30 % iron core, but the Moon has only 3%. The further study by Hartmann (2014) explained that the Earth’s core is the result of drainage Earth’s iron into the core before collision, but debris’ iron came from the breakage of mantle of the Earth (Hartmann, 2014). Therefore, the Moon has much less iron comparing to that of the Earth. Furthermore, Analysis of composition of Moon rocks’ samples collected by Apollo Program showed evidences that supports the giant impact hypothesis that is the Moon was created through impact of a large astronomical body with the Earth (Burrows, 1999). Finally, this hypothesis also explains why oxygen isotope composition between the Moon and Earth is the same since the Moon formed in Earth’s neighbourhood.
Additional theories and challenges
New hypothesis is raised by Robin M. Can up, funded by the NASA Lunar Science Institute, which challenges the Giant Impact Hypothesis as the new theory hypothesizes “our early Earth and moon were both created together in a giant collision of two planetary bodies that were each five times the size of Mars.” However, there is also study on the depletion of zinc isotopes on the Moon supports the Giant Impact Hypothesis in late 2012 by Paniello et al.
Conclusion
The Moon, as the easiest object that people can share in the clear night, has its attractions for scientists exploring its origin. Even though, the formation of the Moonies still a mystery that requires further research on this topic. We have already seen how our ancients’ efforts on exploring the formation of the Moon, and it is known as the knowledge of the Moon is gradually perfected by the various proposed theories started from 1878 to nowadays. As this research essay discussed the past hypotheses as known as “ The Big Three” referring to Fission, Capture and Accretion hypotheses are popular in different times and centuries seems to failed after the great Apollo mission in 1972 (Tyson, 2000). However, they gave a better understanding for later works on this topic. Nowadays, the Giant Impact Hypothesis is regarded as the most leading theory that is widely accepted. Nevertheless, some studies supported this theory; others may create new theory to challenge this Giant Impact Hypothesis, which make this hypothesis still arguable. Therefore, our human being should put our hopes on the development of planetary science and technology that may come to day we can figure out the truth of origin of the Moon.
Reference
Anon., 2007. Lunar Capture Origins of the Earth’s Moon. Retrieved on 27 Sept 2015: http://lunarorigin.com/lunar-origin-models
Burrows, W.E. (1999). This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age. Modern Library.pp.431
Hartmann, W.K. (2014). The Giant impact hypothesis: past, present (and future?). The Royal Society, Vol.372.
Hartmann, W.K. & Davis, D.R. (1975). Icarus, Planetary Science Institute, Vol.24, No.505. Retrieved on 27 Sept 2015: http://www.psi.edu/epo/moon/moon.html
Jenvey, K. (2012). NASA Lunar Scientists Develop New Theory on Earth and Moon Formation. Retrieved on 27 Sept 2015: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/moon_formation.html
Paniello, R.C., Day, J.M.D., Moynier, F. (2012). Zinc isotopic evidence for the origin of the Moon. Nature, Vol. 490, pp.376-379
Tyson, P. (2000). Origins. Retrieved on 27 Sept 2015: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tothemoon/ origins.html
Zhong, C. (2013). Origin and Evolution of the Moon. International Astronomical Union. 9(s298), pp. 457-457.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Origins of the Moon

...There are a few hypotheses out there in regards to the origin of how the earth’s moon was formed of where it came from. One of these hypotheses states that 5.55 billion years ago the newly formed earth had started to attain its size and had formed its layers. During that period there were still many planets the size of mars and mercury moving around the solar system closet to earth. The theory was that since the earth had formed most its layers that many of the iron minerals had made its way to the core of the earth and the outer layers were made of other types of less dense materials. In theory a planet the size of mars collided with earth in which it vaporized the earth’s atmosphere and outside crust, also vaporizing the crust of the other planet. This in return heated up the planets and caused large chunks of molten masses to shoot out into space. However due to the earths strong gravity pull not all of the molten chunks escaped out into space but however was trapped by earth’s gravity and stayed in place. Over thousands of years this molten mass would eventually turn into what we know today as the moon and to explain the low iron count of the moon. Another hypothesis is that of the Nebular hypothesis. It states that the solar system as a whole started off as nebula cloud of gasses and dust. Which in time a gravitational collapse happened and the cloud started to rotate? This rotation in returned caused the mass to start to heat up due the fact the gravitational......

Words: 878 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Franchising

...BUYCO, GENEVIEVE P NS2 / 1:30-2:30 01249 / BA: 304 THEORIES OF THE ORIGIN OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM There have been two main views regarding the origin of the planets in our solar system. The first is that another star happened to pass near our sun, and drew off clouds of gases which then formed themselves into planets. This is the planetesimal group of theories. Astronomers are well aware of the fact that stars do not wander around through space, but that is how the theory went..  The other main viewpoint is that a swirling cloud of gas formed itself into our sun, planets, moons, comets, and asteroids. By 1940, all the various encounter or planetesimal theories had pretty much been discarded as hopeless, but, beginning in that decade, under the urging of *von Weizsacker, *Whipple, *Spitzer, *Urey, *Garnow, *Hoyle, *Kuiper, and others, an attempt has been made to bring astronomers back to some variation of the nebular (gas cloud) hypothesis. Their efforts have been surprisingly successful, in spite of the obvious physical principle that gas in outer space (as well as here on earth) never coagulates; it always spreads outward. Let us consider some of the major reasons the various theories of the origin of our solar system are more foolishness than fact. 1-Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and the eighth largest. Mercury is smaller in diameter than Ganymede and Titan but more massive. 2-Venus is the second planet from the Sun and the sixth largest. Venus' orbit is......

Words: 1367 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Comparative Essay

...Comparative Essay: Original creation of the Earth PHSC 210, D03-LUO I. Introduction The old-Earth evolution and young-Earth creation debate has been one that has gone on for centuries. Each viewpoint seeks to give an answer to life’s most difficult questions or origins and how the Earth came to be what it resembles today. While the Young Earth viewpoint has remained constant and unchanged throughout the centuries the Old Earth view seems to be continually evolving as new discoveries tend to discredit previous assumptions. One certainty is that both viewpoints take a dogmatic stance against each other in regards to the interpretation of scientific evidence. The purpose of this paper is to compare old-Earth and young-Earth viewpoints on the original creation of the Earth. II. Old-Earth Secular View The old-Earth evolution viewpoint on the original creation of the Earth is the nebular hypothesis. This viewpoint gave birth to evolutionary thought concerning origins. “…the history of evolution did not begin in 1859 with Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species,’ but with the publication in 1796 of Pierre Simon Laplace’s so-called nebular hypothesis” (Numbers. 1977). This viewpoint suggests “About 4.6 billion years ago our solar system formed from a cloud of gas and dust which slowly contracted under the mutual gravity of all of its particles” (The Solar Nebula. N.d.). It is believed that this cloud of gas and dust was spinning at an accelerated rate and...

Words: 1273 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Thee Moon

...Moon The Moon (Latin: Luna) is the Earth's only natural satellite.[e][f][8] Although not the largest natural satellite in the Solar System, it is, among the satellites of major planets, the largest relative to the size of the object it orbits (its primary) [g][h] and, after Jupiter's satellite Io, it is the second most dense satellite among those whose densities are known. The Moon is in synchronous rotation with Earth, always showing the same face with its near side marked by dark volcanic maria that fill between the bright ancient crustal highlands and the prominent impact craters. It is the most luminous object in the sky after the Sun. Although it appears a very bright white, its surface is actually dark, with a reflectance just slightly higher than that of worn asphalt. Its prominence in the sky and its regular cycle of phases have, since ancient times, made the Moon an important cultural influence on language, calendars, art, and mythology. The Moon's gravitational influence produces the ocean tides and the slight lengthening of the day. The Moon's current orbital distance is about thirty times the diameter of Earth, causing it to have an apparent size in the sky almost the same as that of the Sun. This allows the Moon to cover the Sun nearly precisely in total solar eclipse. This matching of apparent visual size is a coincidence. The Moon's linear distance from Earth is currently increasing at a rate of 3.82±0.07 cm per year, but this rate is not constant.[9] The......

Words: 553 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Moon

...Moon This article is about Earth's Moon. For moons in general, see Natural satellite. For other uses, see Moon (disambiguation). The Moon Full moon as seen from Earth's northern hemisphere Designations Adjective lunar, selenic Orbital characteristics Perigee 362,570 km (0.0024 AU) (356,400–370,400 km) Apogee 405,410 km (0.0027 AU) (404,000–406,700 km) Semi-major axis 384,399 km (0.00257 AU)[1] Eccentricity 0.0549[1] Orbital period 27.321582 d (27 d 7 h 43.1 min[1]) Synodic period 29.530589 d (29 d 12 h 44 min 2.9 s) Average orbital speed 1.022 km/s Inclination 5.145° to the ecliptic[2] (between 18.29° and 28.58° to Earth's equator)[1] Longitude of ascending node regressing by one revolution in 18.6 years Argument of perigee progressing by one revolution in 8.85 years Satellite of Earth Physical characteristics Mean radius 1,737.10 km (0.273 Earths)[1][3] Equatorial radius 1,738.14 km (0.273 Earths)[3] Polar radius 1,735.97 km (0.273 Earths)[3] Flattening 0.00125 Circumference 10,921 km (equatorial) Surface area 3.793 × 107 km2 (0.074 Earths) Volume 2.1958 × 1010 km3 (0.020 Earths) Mass 7.3477 × 1022 kg (0.0123 Earths[1]) Mean density 3.3464 g/cm3[1] Equatorial surface......

Words: 850 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Myth About Origin of Death and Conflicts

...Myth about Origin of Death and Conflicts Name: University: Lecturer: Date: Origin of Conflicts and Death in Human Beings Many years ago, in the days when wild animals used to talk with human beings, there lived a hunter in the middle of the forest. He lived with his family and all the animals in the forest. His family composed of wife-Magor and two daughters- June and Jessica. He lived by hunting and fruit gathering with his family. Every time he killed an animal, they prepared and gave thanks to God by giving offerings. They lived happily and to them life were so good. They took care of God’s creation and valued everything that they came across in the forest. Their God was happy with the way they took care of his creations. Their God provided them with everything they need in their life. His wife was so happy that her daughters lived in a ways that impress God. One day, God invited him to enter into a covenant with him. This was to give him the authority over other creatures and God’s creation. The hunter was so happy that he told his wife and his two daughters. They danced in round cycles giving praise to their creator for giving him authority over everything on the earth. They echoed the name of their creator at the top of their voices. He finally entered into a covenant with God the following day. He was to be monitoring all the creatures in the forest and giving reports to God. The report was to be communicated to his daughters Jessica and June. June and......

Words: 1128 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Earth's Dynamic Ocean

...University of Phoenix Material Earth’s Dynamic Ocean and Atmosphere I Worksheet From Visualizing Earth Science, by Merali, Z., and Skinner, B. J, 2009, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Copyright 2009 by Wiley. Adapted with permission. Part 1 Sections 12.1 and 12.2 of the text discuss the origin and composition of the world ocean’s seawater. 1. What is the current theory on the evolution of the world ocean?the theory of the earth’s ocean, is possibly the earth was formed between 4 and 4.56 billion years ago. The most ancient grain discovered was a mineral grain of zircon in the middle of west austraillia. That element shows to have made contact with water, but the origin of the water is still unkown. 2. Discuss the origin of the salinity of seawater and how the ocean maintains salinity. The salinity of the ocean is created after the seawater evaporates. At that point three quarters of dissolved matter becomes sodium chloride. (table salt). The ocean maintains its salinity because it constantly receives fresh water from parcipitation and river flow. Often times other elements parcipitate out of mineral form and settle to the seafloor. As a result the composition of the seawater does not change. Part 2 Surface currents obtain their energy from the wind blowing over the surface waters. The currents do not exactly follow the wind direction because of an apparent force known as the Coriolis force. Using Figure 12.11 from the text, briefly explain surface currents of...

Words: 810 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Glg 150 Wk 4 Worksheet 1

...Earth Dynamic Ocean & Atmosphere Mylani Tiopan GLG/150 02/02/2015 Suzanne McIninch University of Phoenix Material Earth’s Dynamic Ocean and Atmosphere I Worksheet From Visualizing Earth Science, by Merali, Z., and Skinner, B. J, 2009, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Copyright 2009 by Wiley. Adapted with permission. 1 Part 1 Sections 12.1 and 12.2 of the text discuss the origin and composition of the world ocean’s seawater. What is the current theory on the evolution of the world ocean? Scientists do not yet agree as to where the Earth's water came from. According to the text, some water were in the materials that formed Earth. That water was released as steam from volcanoes. The text also states that more water could have came from outside sources such as comets and meteorites. Discuss the origin of the salinity of seawater and how the ocean maintains salinity. Chemical weathering of rock and volcanic eruptions are some of the sources that are involved in the salinity of seawater. Evaporation of surface water and freezing of seawater makes seawater saltier. While rain, snow, and river water make it less salty. 2 Part 2 Surface currents obtain their energy from the wind blowing over the surface waters. The currents do not exactly follow the wind direction because of an apparent force known as the Coriolis force. Using Figure 12.11 from the text, briefly explain surface currents of the world ocean and how the Coriolis force affects......

Words: 987 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Earths Dynammic Ocean and Atmosphere

...University of Phoenix Material Earth’s Dynamic Ocean and Atmosphere I Worksheet From Visualizing Earth Science, by Merali, Z., and Skinner, B. J, 2009, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Copyright 2009 by Wiley. Adapted with permission. Part 1 Sections 12.1 and 12.2 of the text discuss the origin and composition of the world ocean’s seawater. What is the current theory on the evolution of the world ocean? Discuss the origin of the salinity of seawater and how the ocean maintains salinity. A: The current theory on the evolution of the worlds ocean is that, it was possibly formed between four, and four and a half billion years ago. The oldest grain found was a grain called zircon. It was found in Australia. That element shows to have made contact with water, yet the origin of the water is still undetermined. Salinity of sea water is created as salt water evaporates. When sea water evaporates, three quarters of what is left is sodium chloride, which is table salt. The ocean maintains its salinity because it is constantly receiving fresh water from precipitation and tributaries. Minerals are also used by many different forms of sea life, thus resulting in sea water maintaining its salinity. Part 2 Surface currents obtain their energy from the wind blowing over the surface waters. The currents do not exactly follow the wind direction because of an apparent force known as the Coriolis force. Using Figure 12.11 from the text, briefly explain surface currents of the world ocean and how the......

Words: 794 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Religion 101

...nineteenth century anthropologists started investigating the remaining “primitive” cultures and some theories of the origin of religion were started. The first theory of the origins of religion was the animist theory. During this time Edward Tylor, who was a leading figure in anthropology came up with a theory that said “primitive” people believed that souls were not only found in people but in all of nature” (1). Things like plants, animals, mountains, rivers, even the entire world itself was seen as being alive with spirits of all kind. People viewed these spirits in many different ways therefore, it became a part of life of “primitive” societies to pray to these spirits, offer sacrifices, and avoid offending them. “Ultimately, this animistic view of the universe produced this religion that would worship the sky, earth, and water” (1). Max Muller, who was also a leading figure in anthropology, had his mind set on another theory, which is the nature- worship theory. According to this theory, “primitive” people became aware of things such as the changing of the seasons, the tides, and the phases of the moon. The people decided to personalize them thus giving names to things such as the sun, the moon, and so on. “They also began to describe the activities of these forces with tales that eventually became mythology” (1). Muller became convinced that he found the key to origin of all religions: “Primitive” people identify the forces in nature, personify them, created myths to......

Words: 635 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Mineral

...Joesmithite The Joesmithite mineral was named after Joseph Victor Smith. Joseph Victor Smith was born in 1928 and later died in 2007. As a young boy on his parents farm north of England, Joseph Victor Smith often wondered why part of the moon was white and part of it was black. In Dec of 1969 the question that often pondered his mind as a child began to once again trouble him. He reached a conclusion that the black material was basalt, this is no more than solidified lava. Additionally, Smith reached the verdict that the white color in the moon was rock enriched with feldspar. It was Smith determination the feldspar crystals, being lighter than that of basalt, floated to areas of the moon when part of the planet was melted lava. Joseph Victor Smith endured much criticism for his theory but during an interview in 1999 he noted that his theory of the hot moon had much more effect and support over the theory of cooler models. Smith had an overwhelming concern for our environment and the preservation of the earth. In the 1980’s his concern for threats to the human race presented by the earth (comets, colliding, asteroids and other natural hazards) within a combination of articles and conferences. Smith received the Roebling Medal in 1982 and in 1998 he organized the National Academy of Sciences Colloquium on Geology, Mineralogy, and Human Welfare. Smith documented more than 400 scientific articles that where published in journal such as Science, Nature, Journal of......

Words: 963 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Worldview and Its Effect on Astronomy and Science in General

...scope of this short essay concerns only the creationist perspective. Individuals possessing a biblical Christian worldview (hereafter referred to as Christians) believe that their God, Yahweh (hereafter referred to as God) created, by speaking into existence, the complete universe (hereafter referred to as Creation) in six literal days. This creationist perspective is derived from the first chapters of the book of Genesis found within the Bible and is a foundational belief to Christianity. Truths concerning astronomy are learned by Christians in two ways: special and general revelation. Special revelation is truth that has been revealed by God through the Bible, dreams and visions, and prophesy. By special revelation, Christians know the origin of the universe (found within the beginning chapters in the book of Genesis in the Bible). General revelation is truth that has been revealed through the examination of Creation. By general revelation, Christians are confirmed in their...

Words: 697 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

The Space Race

...defined by President John F Kennedy’s speech at Rice University and thus “The Space Race” had begun. In that speech, John F Kennedy stated “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” JFK RICE MOON SPEECH. (n.d.). The space race ignited America’s competitive spirit. The space race between the two world powers changed humanity with breaking the limits of new technology in space travel and catapulted the United States to evolve into the world leader by landing a human on the moon. On October 4 of 1957, the space race began between two of the most powerful countries when Russian launched an unmanned rocket called Sputnik 1 into orbit. “The launch of Sputnik 1 had a "Pearl Harbor" effect on American public opinion.” Launius, R. (n.d.). Then Russia, a month later, launched Sputnik 2 which included a small dog named Laika. The U.S. tried to catch up by launching two satellites. One of the satellites failed to reach orbit, however one of satellite discovered what is called The Van Allen belt. In 1959, the United States launched the Luna 1, which was the first manmade object to reach the solar orbit. Then, the United States launched the Luna 2, which became the first manmade object to reach the moon. On November 8 of the next year, John F Kennedy was elected President and informed NASA he wanted the United States to get mankind in...

Words: 845 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Jupiter

...Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. It is approximately 143,000 kilometers (about 89,000 miles) wide at its equator. Jupiter is so large that all of the other planets in the solar system could fit inside it. More than 1,000 Earths would fit inside Jupiter. Jupiter is like a star in composition. If Jupiter had been about 80 times more massive, it would have become a star rather than a planet. Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun. Jupiter's average distance from the sun is 5.2 astronomical units, or AU. This distance is a little more than five times the distance from Earth to the sun. When viewed from Earth, it is usually the second brightest planet in the sky, after Venus. The planet is named after Jupiter, the king of the Roman gods. What Is Jupiter Like? Jupiter is a giant gas planet. Its atmosphere is made up of mostly hydrogen gas and helium gas, just like the sun. The planet's surface is covered in thick red, brown, yellow and white clouds. One of Jupiter's most famous features is the Great Red Spot. It is a giant spinning storm, resembling a hurricane. At its widest point, the storm is about three-and-a-half times the diameter of Earth. Jupiter is a very windy planet. Winds range from 192 mph to more than 400 mph. Jupiter has three thin rings. The rings were discovered in 1979 by NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft. Jupiter's rings are made up mostly of tiny dust particles. Jupiter rotates, or spins, faster than any other planet. One......

Words: 926 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Basics of Astronomy Outline Answersheet

...|  | Please write your answers only excluding the original questions. | |1 |The sun is considered to be a star and is a hot ball of glowing gases. It is known as the heart of our solar system. | |2 |There are over 200 billion stars in the Milky Way. It is made up of the billions of stars as well as enough gas and dust to make a | | |billions more. The Milky Way is over 100,000 light years from one end to the other. | |3 |According to Reeves (1999), “Astronomers, believe that the universe began in a big bang roughly 14 billion years ago” (para. 5). They | | |believed that a bubble exploded suddenly and the birth of the universe began. Keep in mind this bubble was only about the size of a | | |pinhead.  | |4 |You are looking back in time because of the speed of light. Light moves 186,000 miles per second. An example of this would be like we see| | |the sun, eight minutes after the fact.  | |5 |The Earth is the 3rd planet from the Sun. Earth is where we live, and is the only planet that contains life. Earth is the only......

Words: 613 - Pages: 3