Friday, May 9, 2008

The Dark Side of the Moon(s)

Dark night. Or maybe too early in the morning. It depends on one's point of view and the way one accepts the idea of staying up to 2 a.m., with a cigarette in the hand, looking at the sombre sky with some thoughts flowing through his mind.What shall this fellow see? Let's put aside the stars (and the complicated combinations some people think they make) and there it is - The Moon! 
I should admit I've always admired the Moon. There's something very special about it.
I mean, we see the Moon every day, some contemplate it with some absent-minded look, others - through telescopes, satellites and so on, 
and yet - we can't say we know all about it.

These days I came across an interesting theory - "The Earth once had multiple moons".
Yes,  at first glimpse it sounds insane. But this theory is worth thinking of. 
We know that scientists think the Moon was created when Earth was struck by a Mars-sized object some 4.5 billion years ago.
They have proof of it - the probes they took from our Earth and from the surface of the Moon, show a big similarity in the chemical substance they are built of.
Some scientists believe that the Earth should have been bigger back these days -
to endure a clash with an object with the size of contemporary Earth is not an easy task, you know.
Using this, they claim that some smaller parts, except the Moon, have also taken a flight
into the open space.  The scientists call them "Troyan satellites".
Because of gravitation, some of these parts remained as a natural satellite,
alongside with the Moon.
They remained there for some 100 million years ( I know it sounds crazy, but this is a rather small period for astronomy) 
and with some changes, that occured in Earth's gravitation, 
they themselves crashed into our planet or the Moon. 
Matija Cuk, an astrophysicist at the University of British Columbia in Canada, suggests small, asteroid-sized objects a few tens of kilometres across would have lasted the longest as Trojan satellites. Cuk estimates these 'lost moons' might have circled Earth for a billion years or more after the Moon's formation.

Interesting theory. It can't be neither accepted, nor neglected. 
Astronomy is developing quite fast these days.
In 2003, new satellites of Jupiter have been discovered.  
Even, a new planet was discovered and accepted as part of the solar system in 2006.
Some further proof will be needed, I think.

As the X-Files state, the truth is out there.  And there is a chance not to see it until some moment. I hope this moment is closing...

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