Anti-electric universe

September 17, 2018

The Big Splat or How Our Moon Came to Be

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidlpf @ 2:47 am

The Big Splat or How Our Moon Came to Be

This might be a series of reviews and overviews of science and skepticism books. Right now I am starting with books that I have handy to me so they will a bit outdated. Hopefully in October when the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast book comes out I will get as soon as possible and before that I will read A Demon Haunted World.

This overview is of The Big Splat or How Our Moon Came to Be by Dana MacKenzie in 2003. I have read this years ago while working at call center. This is basically a history of our views of what we thought of the moon over the last 2500 years. It starts in Greek times and finishes in the early 2000’s. The story does mention of the usual suspects in planetary science and astronomy such as Kepler, Galileo, Newton and Darwin (probably not the one you are thinking of.).

The first couple of chapters of the deals with how for until recently in human history how the moon was the only light at night and then how Greeks brought the moon back to Earth from the gods. The Greeks originally thought that all the celestial bodies were gods, the god of the Moon was Artemis. Then a meteorite came down to the Earth, this one was different then any previous meteorite. First it landed in Thrace, second people found it. It also fall when the Greeks the group that controlled this area started to try to explain things by natural reasons rather than supernatural reasoning. Anaxagoras one of the first physici, he eventually figure that the moon, the sun, stars and planets were made of solid matter. After this there were two different schools on what the heavens were made up of and the other still wanted to believe that heavens were made out of the same stuff as the Earth.

The next major set of developments came about almost two thousand years later. It started with Nicolas Copernicus who came up with the idea that the planets including the Earth orbited around the sun and not everything orbiting the Earth. The next development came bu Johannes Kepler. Kepler started hos career as a math instructor in a school. One day he had the thought the orbits could fitted by the platonic solids. He got the attention Tycho Brahe who was the astronomer to the Emperor of Austria
and Kepler his assistant. After Tycho passed Kepler inherited Tycho’s observational data including that of Mars. Kepler tried to fit the observations to an orbit of a circle but couldn’t find out how. He eventually considered the eclipse which is a slightly squashed orbit. He then realized that the a planet orbiting the sun would cover the same are over the same time. Another relationship he found was that the square of the time it took a planet to orbit a star was equal to the cube of the radius of the orbit. The major player was Galileo, he did not invent the telescope or the first to point at the moon or the havens.
But he was the first to realize that the objects moving around the planet Jupiter to be orbiting around Jupiter itself. Galileo wrote a 40 page pamphlet describing his discoveries and his telescope design. Kepler wrote a pamphlet in response in which he described a better arrangement of lenses to improve Galileo’s telescope. Kepler last major installment in the tale of the moon was a Sci-Fi story which he tells of a traveler to the moon and his meeting the inhabitants of the Moon. This actually got his mother in trouble because of the method he described tot he moon looked a like witch craft, eventually she got out of the charges.

The next major contribution was done by Issac Newton. He didn’t really make any great discoveries about the moon but how things orbit. When an object orbits another object there is force towards the object in the center, the force decreases by the square of distance between the two objects and the force is dependent on the force of the two objects. He also along with Leibniz of Germany the new branch of mathematics called calculus. Immanual Kant and Marquis Laplace thought the solar system formed by a spinning collapsing cloud of gas and dust, they came up with the theory independently within years of each other, knowledge took a lot longer to get around. They figured that the moon formed in a region near Earth in this theory This was the coaccretion process was refined. The major refinement was worked out Roche. Roche discovered if a moon comes to close to the planet it is orbiting the moon would break apart. The most famous example of this Saturn’s rings which are 2.46 the radius of Saturn. To do this to the moon it would be 2.49 the radius of Earth because our moon. He figured that the it was the sun’s tidal force and the not the force from the Earth had a greater effect on the forming Earth -moon system. His calculations showed the Earth had in influence on objects within 237 times its radius.

The next major theory came form George Darwin son of the one that wrote something about natural selection. George become of the great mathematician of his era and got intrigued by the tidal forces between the Earth and the moon. He realized that the interaction between the two was slowing down how fast the Earth was revolving around its axis and how long moon was taking to orbit the Earth so one day the two would be the same of 55 days. This also meant as you went back in time the Earth would be rotating once in 5 hour and 36 minutes. Darwin thought that at one point the was ejected from the Earth. At around the same time the discovery of radioactivity and and radioactive elements. It was discovered that Uranium decayed into lead at a certain rate and the age of the Earth was figured to be 4.47 billion years which was off because the decay process wasn’t fully understood at the time.

The next theory how the moon came to be was the capture theory. This theory was first brought about T.J.J See. See was from the southern states and named after two confederate generals. When went to Germany for graduate school and was told not to think about planetary formation because it was a dead end instead he went to study binary stars. He discovered over 400 pairs of stars orbiting each other. He was invented to work at the university of Chicago to help setup an astronomy department there. He convinced a business man by the name Yerkes to donate the money but because of politics at the university Hale was named his supervisor. Eventually he ended up working for the US Navy at mare Island as a time keeper for most of the west coast of the US. While there he had time to write articles for the local paper and came up with the idea that the moon was captured and Darwin’s and other math is wrong. He published his theory in the self published volume,Evolution of Solar Systems, vol II, The Capture Theory. He stayed his post until his death in 1962. Starting in the mid 1950’s a German high school teacher Gerstenkorn started to do calculations on the capture theory later MacDonald in England partnered with him to to do the model on computers. These models showed that the moon would have to come within the Roche limit a few days each orbit and it could survive without breaking up, the moon would of heated by 2000-5000k which would melt the surface of the moon and the would have been travelling +/- 5% the speed of the Earth at the time.

Around this time Otto Schmidt one of the heroes of the Soviet Union was allowed to open a research institute outside of Moscow. One the researchers was Safronov. Safronov Started to do his calculations on planetary development without computers. His calculations showed that a field about 250 time s the radius of the Earth surround the Earth until it formed the moon. The major contribution his model introduce was collisions between objects was possible this explained way Uranus rotates with one pole pointed to the Sun rather then pointing at a 90 degree angle.

The Americans and the Russians got into a race of who would do what first in Space and this led to the Americans putting 12 men on the moon in late 60’s and early 70’s, there was another mission that was suppose to go there but had some issues. While the astronauts were on the moon 841 lbs of samples were returned to the Earth from different locations on the Moon. These samples showed the mare or seas were made up from magma flows and 3.6 billions years old and regolith which is 4.5 billion years old and thicker near the highlands at 10-15 meters and about 5 meters in the mare. Regolith was formed from meteorites colliding with the moon. They found that 98% of the moon was composed of 4 minerals, plagioclase feldspar (CaAlSi2O8), Olivine( (Mg,Fe)2SiO4. Pryoxene (FeSiO4 or CaSi4O6), and Ilmenite (FeTiO3). Before the astronauts could go they needed to know where to land. In 1963 William Hartmann went to the University of Arizona to study at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under Gerard Kuiper. One of Hartmanns first jobs was to take photos taken of the moon and to transfer them to a globe. While doing this they figured Mare Orientale was formed by a 90 km asteroid hitting the moon. Hartmann’s next job was too count the moon was to count the amount of craters in certain areas to find an estimate of the age of moon, the more craters the more time it had a chance to get hit by the asteroids. He came to the idea that the mares were about 3.6 billion years old before the astronauts went to the moon. When moon exploration was winding down Hartmann and Davis worked on refining Safronov’s model. Their model showed a lager body that started to form around the Earth this object later got the name Thea. It took some time but it eventually became to be the concensus of how the moon was formed.

Our current understanding of how the moon was formed started when the solar system was formed. A cloud of material started to form where the Earth-moon system is now. When the Earth got to be about 90 percent the size its present size Thea collided with the Earth, the Earth got most of the iron out of the two. For the next 50 million years the debris from the collision of two are finished forming the two present day objects. Four hundred million years later a bombardment of materials hits the Earth and moon for about two hundred million years. Two million years later the radioactive elements of uranium and thorium melt areas where the mares are today and eventually cool off. Since about 3.2 billion years ago the moon settled down pretty much with the impact here and there.

The book is a good read and is good at explaining things and I enjoyed every time I read it. I once did attend a talk Given by Eugene Shoemaker. It was given in my first year of university and I was 1 in hundreds in the theater (it was a room used for a lot of first year university talks ). In the last section the author discusses the moon hoax theory that no one has been to the moon. The evidence does not support such claims. Because I did not far so well at university I tried to get out of my system it didn’t really work and started to read astronomy magazines then started to follow Phil Plait who is the reference part of this book. His first book was on the arguments of the hoax believers and the reasons they are wrong, so there was some influence of this story on even my life. If you have a chance to read this book , pick it up and read it you might become a lunatic. [/p]


September 5, 2018

Some Reasons why intelligent Design is Not Science.

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidlpf @ 1:38 am

In the morning the first thing I do is get the newest episodes I listen to, and sometimes check youtube for new videos, plus this morning I was waiting for a friend to post his most recent video about his car dealership. I mostly watch stuff on star trek, star wars, history and a few other topics. This morning I was saw a video about the history of the Celts. This peaked my interest because I have some Celtic in me (English, Irish and Scots) so I watched the video then saw another video about “Why Intelligent Design is not Science” this peaked my interest again and watched it, there goes the morning.

Intelligent design was brought about in the United States to do an end run around the first amendment in the Constitution which separates church from state. It was already determined that creation teachings were not allowed in the science classroom because it was not science. So a new tact was taken and that was a re-branding creationism as intelligent design. This was brought to a head in court case in Dover PA in the 2000’s. Some members of the school board arranged for an additional textbook called the “ The Pandas Thumb.” In the rush to publish the text book creationists was changed to “cdesign proponentist” and the judge saw this as an attempt to sneak creationism into the science classroom. I not hear to criticize peoples beliefs or thoughts everyone is entitled to their views and to make carpet statements would be unfair.

The first two examples they use is SETI and archaeology. SETI or the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence is the search for life other than our own in the universe. The intelligence that they are searching for beings like ourselves. This is done by looking for planets around other stars and looking for the tell tale traces of life from the spectrum of the light from the planets, or detecting any radio transmissions that these civilizations might be emitting. Archaeology is the study of ancient man, this is done by the study the bones and artifacts left by ancient man. Most of the ancient tools were stone tools and archaeologists study to know the difference between regular stones and the ones worked by the hands of man. Another example this video uses is that of Stonehenge. Stonehenge is a group of stones arranged in a circular pattern in Wiltshire, England. The stones were moved there, dressed and stood up by human hands. They stones can be determined if they were there naturally or moved there by their chemical make-up. The main difference between this type of intelligence and the one behind intelligent design is that of natural vs. supernatural. The natural intelligences have an influence of the natural world and can be measured and they supernatural intelligence can not be measured and outside the realm of science.

The next two examples they use are string theory and multiverse theory. Both are theoretical constructs to explain some things in physics. String theory basically is that all subatomic particle vibrate like strings and if change the vibration of a string you can change what type of particle it is like an electron can be turned into proton. String theory at this point can be tested because the energies involved to test it. The multiverse theory is that there are multiple universe existing and this can not be tested because there is no way of travelling between universes at this time. The major difference again is that their theory depends on something that can not be tested now or ever.

The next examples is that what I like to call scientist are just people after all. One claim they have is that Brian Green, Richard Dawkins and Neil Degrasse Tyson have stated that the universe is a computer simulation. This is probably them wondering why the universe is so set up for life like ours in the universe, this is often to referred to as the anthropocentric principle. If gravity was stringer the universe would be a giant ball of matter or if gravity was weaker everything would just be a fine mist in the universe. Or if the attraction between the the electron and proton were less atoms would be much larger. There is no evidence of it being a computer simulation so at the moment a lot of people are saying not. Another example they use is Francis Crick who co-discovered the structure of DNA in the 40’s. He thought that the life here came from somewhere else, this is called panspermia. He also thought aliens brought life here, and since this is untestable and there is more evidence life came form here this is probably not the case. Scientist are people too so they can weird and scientific thoughts as well.
A couple of last notes since intelligent design is not testable it is unlikely to be correct and is not scientific. The friends video I was waiting for is a creationists. During grades 7 to 11 I had a friend who I use to discuss this stuff with all the time.

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