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Fission Hypothesis Research Papers

Fission hypothesis research papers are science orientated research that focuses on the formation of the moon by a fission process.

One of the earliest of the Moon origin theories is the fission hypothesis, first proposed by George Darwin a little over a hundred years ago.  This theory contends that after forming its core, the Earth spun so fast that a bulge formed at the equator.  Eventually centrifugal force caused a seizable amount of material to be thrown into orbit. For this model to be valid, however, the Moon would have to be composed mainly of the Earth’s mantle, and should have roughly the same proportion of elements and compounds as the Earth. The data collected from the lunar missions shows that the Moon has a lower concentration of volatile elements, and a ratio of iron oxides to magnesium oxides that is approximately 10% higher than in the Earth’s crust and mantle. The fission theory cannot account for a way for the Moon to have selectively re-condensed from the original material, permitting not only the loss of volatiles, but also fails to explain the different proportionate ratios of compounds.  

Fission Hypothesis and Motion Dynamics

The fission theory also fails when the motion dynamics of the model are considered. Computer calculations show that for the Earth to have the necessary centrifugal force, it would have had to have been rotating once every 2.5 hours.  The slow accumulation of dust grains in the Earth’s early life argues against such a high rate of spin. In addition, the inclination of the Moon’s orbit is not in the equatorial plane of the Earth, as would be expected from the break away of an equatorial bulge. Defenders of the theory account for this by suggesting a subsequent migration of the Moon to its present orbit.

  Fission Hypothesis

Precipitation Hypothesis

In an attempt to remedy the deficiencies of the fission model, the precipitation hypothesis was offered.  This contends the following steps happened:

  1. The Earth grew in size.
  2. Gravity caused impacting bodies to rapidly release energy.
  3. Surface temperatures approached 2000C.
  4. The hot surface temperature vaporized incoming bodies.
  5. Rapid reduction of iron from oxide to metal, and resulted in a loss of between 10-20% of volatilized silicates. 
  6. The gases would have formed a ring around the Earth, with the volatiles eventually swept away by solar radiation. 
  7. The residual material, rich in refractory elements and depleted in volatiles and siderophile elements, was left behind to form the Moon. 

This model gives a more acceptable explanation of the geo-chemical composition of the Moon.  It fails, however, to adequately address the mechanical dynamics such as the energy necessary for this material to achieve a non-decaying orbit.  In addition, it does not explain the relatively large mass of the Moon when compared to the Earth.  

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