Origin Of The Moon And Lunar Water

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
October 27, 2023
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Origin Of The Moon And Lunar Water
Earth and The Moon

Three principal concepts regarding lunar formation have been examined: the accretion hypothesis, the mega-impact theory, and the multi-impact model.

The multi-impact model amalgamates the salient facets of the mega-impact theory and the accretion hypothesis. As per this model, fragments of the terrestrial crust are ejected into space during collisions with numerous planetesimals (proto-asteroids) with diameters around 10-100 kilometers. This ejecta interacts with the accretion disk, augmenting its mass.

Different models of lunar formation yield varied conclusions regarding the quantity of lunar water, its subsurface distribution, and isotopic composition. Geomorphological structures in the lunar polar regions (smoothed craters, landslides, regular patterns) suggest the presence of a substantial permafrost layer with an approximate thickness of a kilometer.

Nick Gorkavyi

Comments: Review article, published in “Earth and Planetary Science”, 2023, 2(2)
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (
Cite as: arXiv:2310.16965 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2310.16965v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
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Submission history
From: Nick Gorkavyi
[v1] Wed, 25 Oct 2023 20:06:14 UTC (1,960 KB)
Astrobiology, Astrochemistry

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻