The Moon—What Was Discovered?
MAN‘S going to the moon and back was certain to bring forth some surprises. Scientifically, there were many. One of them concerned the moon itself, which was thought to be a relatively simple heavenly body.
But not so. Says Dr. R. J. Allenby, assistant director for lunar science of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration: “Probably the most significant thing we have learned is that the moon is a very complex body—not just the simple ‘blob’ that many people thought it was. The Apollo missions have sent a lot of scientists back to the drawing boards. It will take many years to come up with new concepts that are generally accepted.”
A Variety of Discoveries
Since the moon is no mere simple “blob,” what about the widespread theory that the moon originally shot out from the upper surfaces of the earth? A recent scientific report says: “The idea that the moon was torn from the upper layers of the earth has virtually died as a consequence of the Apollo findings.”—New York Times, December 4, 1972.
As for the moon’s composition, the Apollo 16 mission found that the moon material is rich in aluminum and calcium. Metallic iron was present in the moon rocks. The Apollo 11 rock samples disclosed sixty-eight of the known elements. Moon rocks are composed of essentially the same raw materials as are earth rocks. However, there is a difference—in proportion.
For instance, in moon rocks the ratio of uranium to potassium was found to be four times as high as in typical earth rocks. Titanium was found to be more than twice as common in moon rocks as in the most titanium-rich earth rocks. Not the elements themselves but the combinations of elements found in the moon rocks were indeed “unearthly.” As one lunar scientist put it: “It’s the same alphabet but a different grammar.”
A discovery made by Apollo 12 in 1969 was that a lunar magnetic field exists. Early unmanned spacecraft had not detected any lunar magnetism.
Temperatures on the moon were found to range from 280 degrees F. below zero to 250 degrees F. above zero. A hole drilled on the moon revealed a steady increase of temperature with depth, about one degree per foot. But as to whether the moon’s core is partially molten or relatively cool there is still some doubt. Seismic observation pointed to a partially molten core. However, data obtained with magnetometers on the moon’s surface and in lunar orbit have led some scientists to believe that it has a relatively cool interior.
As to the search for evolved life beyond the earth, the moon landings have made it clear that nothing even remotely resembling life has been found. Microscopic studies were made to try to find any living, previously living, or fossil material. None were found on the moon.
Have you wondered about the moon’s age? Rocks taken from the early Apollo missions were estimated at from 3.3 to 3.7 billion years in age. However, one lemon-size rock was estimated to have an age of 4.6 billion years. The moon’s soil was estimated at being from 4.2 to 4.9 billion years in age. Thus Science World of February 16, 1970, commented: “Several researchers confirmed that the moon is about 4.6 billion years old. The Earth and meteorites are about the same age.”
So it is now generally agreed that the moon’s age is the same as that of the entire solar system, including the earth. This is a noteworthy confirmation of the Bible account at Genesis 2:4, which indicates that the earth and the heavens were formed in the same general period of time.
Not Put into Orbit by Chance
An outstanding feature about the moon that man’s space exploits have disclosed is this: The moon could not possibly have been put into its orbit by chance or accident. Commenting on this discovery, William Roy Shelton writes in the book Winning the Moon:
“It is important to remember that something had to put the moon at or near its present circular pattern around the earth. Just as an Apollo spacecraft circling the earth every ninety minutes while one hundred miles high has to have a velocity of roughly 18,000 miles per hour to stay in orbit, so something had to give the moon the precisely required velocity for its weight and altitude. For instance, it could not have been blown out from earth at some random speed or direction. We found this out when we first began to try to orbit artificial satellites. We discovered that unless the intended satellite reached a certain altitude at a certain speed on a certain course parallel to the surface of the earth, it would not have the necessary centrifugal force to maintain the delicate balance with the gravity of earth which would permit it to remain in the desired orbit.
“At Old Cape Canaveral on the night of March 5, 1958, for instance, I watched the launch of Explorer 2 which was scheduled to be the second U.S. satellite to orbit successfully. Everything worked perfectly until the fourth and final stage attempted to achieve the required precise velocity, altitude and speed. On this occasion the difficult combination was not achieved and our intended satellite very soon plunged back into earth’s atmosphere. . . .
“The speed required for orbit changes every time either the altitude or the weight of the intended satellite is altered and objects farther away from the earth require more time to circle the earth. For the moon’s distance and weight, that time, called the orbital period, is approximately 27.3 days. The point—and it is one seldom noted in considering the origin of the moon—is that it is extremely unlikely that any object would just stumble into the right combination of factors required to stay in orbit. ‘Something’ had to put the moon at its altitude, on its course and at its speed. The question is: what was that something?”
Identifying “That Something”
Is “that something” that put our moon into permanent orbit an unintelligent force? Well, consider not only our moon but, as we look out into space, all the heavenly bodies. We see matter in motion. How did this come to be, especially since a body of matter when left by itself is motionless, inert? And for matter to be pushed into motion, does it not have to receive a push, a shove? Furthermore, this force pushing it has to come from outside the matter, since matter is not self-winding.
As we observe these material bodies in space, we note that, interestingly, their course of movement is circular. And so marvelously regular and precise is their orbital movement that men can navigate by observing the sun, moon, planets and stars. Calculations can be made far in advance of the exact position of a heavenly body at any given time. Says the World Book Encyclopedia: “The ship navigator carries with him a book called the Nautical Almanac. This book gives the exact position of each heavenly body for exact times and dates. It tells the position of the heavenly body if it were to drop straight to earth at any instant. By observing the direction, or bearing, of a star, and by measuring its angle above the horizon, the navigator can figure out how far he is from the earthly position of the star.”
When we consider all these things—matter in motion, precise circular movement, and so forth—the indication is that there is an outside regulating, guiding force; that is, someone who knows the precise velocity, altitude and speed required for a heavenly body to stay in permanent orbit. There must be a Lawgiver that governs the movement of this otherwise inert matter. There must be an intelligence that causes these bodies, such as our moon, to move and to stay in their orbits.
So we see that this force behind the movement of matter could not be just an unintelligent “something.” There has to be an intelligent Designer who put all these bodies of matter into relationship to one another, and to coordinate them so that there is no collision or crash. The noted scientist Albert Einstein once said: “It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity; to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe, which we can dimly perceive, and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifest in nature.”
So all “nature,” as worldly scientists call it, betokens intelligence. And where there is intelligence, there is personality bound up in a person. And that Person, who is the great force behind the movement of matter, inert in itself, gave it its initial push and directed it in its circular course of movement. When we consider the vast bodies of matter that are in motion, this one must be a Mighty One.
That person is called in the Holy Bible “God.” The ancient psalmist acknowledged that the heavens had to have a Designer and Maker: “The heavens are declaring the glory of God.” And the Christian apostle Paul also reached the same conclusion when he stated: “Of course, every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God.”—Ps. 19:1; Heb. 3:4.
It is concerning this intelligent Personage, who determined the relationship that the sun and the moon would have to the earth, that the Bible says: “God proceeded to make the two great luminaries, the greater luminary for dominating the day and the lesser luminary for dominating the night, and also the stars.”—Gen. 1:16.
Made to Be a “Lesser Luminary”
Another outstanding discovery of lunar exploration is that the moon was designed to be a “lesser luminary.” Exploration of the moon revealed what is called “the surprisingly abundant glass.”
An examination of the moon’s surface has led to the estimate that about 50 percent of its “soil” consists of tiny glass particles. The glass can be found in different shapes. Some of it is round; some is elliptical; some is teardrop-shaped, or dumbbell-shaped. The glass spheres range in size from tiny specks to very small marbles, and they are extremely lustrous when a light shines on them.
Even the moon’s rocks show that they were made to reflect light, for they are pitted with small glass-lined hollows. When space exploration researcher W. R. Shelton got his first look at moon rocks, he said that he peered down at a lemon-size rock with jeweled fragments of glass: “The base rock itself looked like gray charcoal. A man near me said that if he ran across it in a parking lot, he wouldn’t have bothered to pick it up. But I would have. I would have been instantly intrigued by the shining fragments that peered out at me, almost as if alive.”—Winning the Moon.
Yes, some of the glassy spheroids glinted out of the gray lunar rocks like tiny diamonds! And some of the rocks are covered with spattered drops of glass and appear as if they were glazed.
That so much of the moon’s surface consists of glass is unusual in that very little glass is found naturally in the soil on earth. Why, then, so much glass on the moon? Because the Holy Bible reveals that the moon was made by God to serve as a “lesser luminary” or a ‘night-light.’ The tiny glass beads act as the glass beads in roadside reflectors that catch an auto’s headlight and shine brightly. The glazing of the rocks also contributes to the reflecting properties of the moon, as does the glassy lining in the pits of rocks.
Actually, the discoveries made regarding the moon confirm what the Bible says about it: That it was created by God, that it was to be of benefit to man and to serve as a luminary.
But man’s rockets have gone beyond the moon, even to other planets. What have these planetary probes discovered?
[Picture on page 6]
From their space exploits men learned that putting a rocket into orbit around the earth requires precision, altitude and speed. What, then, of the moon in its orbit around the earth? It, too, requires a precision that could not have come about by accident
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A secret that men learned was that glassy spherules, such as this one magnified 3,300 times, make up about 50 percent of moon surface soil