Moon mystery solved! Scientists recently discovered the moon is not really the perfect sphere shape we all once thought it was. According to researchers from the University of California, a study that uses advanced laser technology to smooth over the stony surface indicates the satellite is distorted.
The ‘Lemon Moon mystery’ explained
The moon has an equatorial bulge similar to the Earth’s bulge. However, the moon’s shape is flattened on the top and bottom. Planetary scientist Ian Garrick-Bethell summed it up as a “lemon with equal with an equatorial bulge”. And unlike Earth’s oblate spheroid nature than enables the planet to spin, the moon hardly spins at all.
Previous explanations for the moon’s strange shape include the fact the moon is too far from Earth to be affected by tidal forces. Another theory is the lack of plate tectonics which could potentially mess up the Moon’s surface. Garrick-Bethell and his team returned to the moon to find an explanation. The ‘Big Splash’ event occurred about 4.5 billion years ago. This was when an unknown body, which was roughly the size of Mars, collided into Earth and caused debris to coalesced which formed the moon to what it is today.
Moon’s surface used to be solid
After this incident, the moon’s surface was actually was solid. It also means the moon would have been closer to our planet and spinning a lot faster than it is now. Garrick-Bethell combined all these factors together to explain the moon’s current shape.
The moon has been a hot topic for scientists for a long time. It has also been the subject of other mysteries as well. One moon mystery involves a photo taken by the Lunar orbiter titled “The Shard” which shows a strange “structure” appears to be enormous at seven miles high.