Imagination ought to be stronger than cognition: such is human genius: invent what you don’t know (yet).

Luna, or Moon, played a crucial role in the rise of life on Earth. It is rather unlikely that advanced life could have evolved without it. Luna provided tremendous chemical mixing on Earth’s surface and otherwise unlikely stability of rotation of the planet (so nice seasons, instead of super winters and super summers, etc). Simultaneously.

Luna allows all sorts of rotations of the Earth to be close to the perfection needed for advanced life.

Other planets have unstable rotation (with up to a 40 degrees wobbling axis: Mars), or insufficient spins (Mercury, Venus), or lay completely flat on the ecliptic plane like beached whales (Uranus). The angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system is one, yet it’s spread on a huge area (about 1/6 of the Sun’s cross-section). Luna used to graze the Earth, at the Roche Limit, causing kilometer tides flushing continental margins continually (thus mixing organic materials with earth, sea and sky, as in an infernal organic materials churning reactor).

Earth-Moon From NASA's Galileo, Heading To Jupiter

Earth-Moon From NASA’s Galileo, Heading To Jupiter

How did Luna form?

John Kennedy’s Apollo Project sent a geologist to the Moon, and brought back precious rocks that were generously divided among laboratories (and various animals) worldwide.

Exploring the Moon was a better use of money than feeding the starving in Africa. Actually there were not much starvation in Africa yet. Indeed there were no wars among the savages, yet, hence no starving in Africa, yet. Moon exploration also demonstrated that the USA does not have to be a nasty den of pirates 100% of the time.

First verdict of Moon science? Isotopic studies (2001) confirmed that Luna is made of Earth’s mantle rocks.

The surprise was considerable. Before that (isotopic) discovery, it was widely expected that Luna was a captured minor planet. Instead, the Earth and Moon came from the same body. How could that be? The obvious scenario that comes to mind is that a Mars sized object hit the Earth. Melted debris would have gathered around Earth, and coalesce, forming the Moon. George Darwin, fifth child of the most famous Darwin, himself a distinguished astronomer, suggested this in 1898.

However, closer, more modern inspection reveals that if Luna was made of Terra, it was not made from an impact… because what happened to the impactor’s material? Luna’s titanium isotope ratio (50Ti/47Ti) is so close to the Earth’s (within 4 parts per million), that none of the impactor’s  mass could have been part of the Moon.

Moreover there is another drastic problem with the impact hypothesis. The dynamics don’t work. A grazing impact would have resulted with debris in a highly eccentric, grazing ellipse. Such a very elongated ellipse is not observed, and impossible to imagine (the debris would have crashed back to Earth, either from air resistance, or the Roche Limit). We are left with a deeper oblique impact, where the impactor is fully absorbed. But then it’s unclear that we can get massive ejecta with a required speed of ten kilometers per second or so, plus high enough an altitude to escape the Roche Limit.

All the more as astronomical considerations lead one to believe the collision happened at low-speed (at most 4 kms/s).

Still another problem of the impact theory is that it implies that the entire planet would have melted. However, there is plenty of evidence that the planet did not entirely melt. Rocks (zircons) have been found to be 4.375 billion years old, plus or minus 6 million years! These are granite like, water rich rocks. That means the supposedly melted Earth would have become solid within 100 million years of impact (by contrast those who believe Earth Core has just residual heat, no active fission heat, claim the core cools at the rate of 100 degrees Celsius every billion years. They generally also believe in the Impact, and thus contradict themselves, thanks to the zircons!)

Thus the impact theory does not seem to work.

The basic problem is that the Moon was created from Earth. Imagine the Earth as a soup: you need to put part of the soup in orbit. You need to rocket it up.

Any brighter idea? I propose there was no magma soup (because so was the fact).

I propose the NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS THEORY (NET). Wow. It’s half tongue in cheek, it has a more serious variant. I replace the overall melting of the impact theory, by powerful local explosions that could hurtle water rich rocks in orbit (mini impacts also do this, that’s the serious variant). As I pointed out in Life Giving Earth Nuclear Reactor, we (probably) have below our feet the largest fission reactor in the known universe.

The Inner Core of Earth is about 70% of the size of the Moon, 2440 kilometers across. It is also around 5,800 Degrees Kelvin, the temperature of the surface of the Sun. Should the rest of the planet become transparent, it would appear to us about 35 wider than the Sun, and just as bright. That would transfer to us about 1,000 times more energy than the Sun does. We would quickly fry.

In my vision of Earth’s genesis, a lot of radioactive fission products were gathered, when Earth formed. Being denser, those fissionable nucleotides tended to sink in molten Earth, and so doing, concentrated. As they did so, their neutrons hit each other. Nuclear fission pockets formed, and violently erupted in tremendous nuclear explosions, deep inside the Earth’s mantle.

(In most so-called thermonuclear bombs’ explosions, contrarily to Communal Wisdom, most of the power actually comes from fission, by using the cheap trick that Uranium 238, the “stable” isotope of Uranium, fissions when exposed to fast neutrons; in the young Earth, there would have been plenty of Uranium 238; this subtlety no doubt escaped geophysicists, since they are unused to nuclear bomb making… In other words, tapping my nuclear know-how, I notice that there is way more fissionable nuclear fuel down below if one thinks, not as Voltaire’s proverbial watch maker, but as a nuclear bomb maker! Is not thinking fun? The reserves of U238 inside the Earth are enormous, and those reserves were more than double that, 4.5 billion years ago).

These enormous nuclear explosions, within the mantle, created plenty of ejecta, thank you Lord. Most fell back with a splash, but plenty had enough correctly directed momentum to achieve high enough orbit.

This is smarter than it looks. The Earth rotated at least once every five hours (8,000 kilometers/hour at the equator). That means ejecta thrown up at the equator would have had one-third of the energy needed for satellization. Hence only equatorial ejecta would have formed the Moon, explaining both why the Moon’s orbit is coplanar, and Luna spins the way it does.

The hot debris gathered, and formed the Moon, just beyond Édouard Roche’s (liquid) Limit. At least, so I propose. Never underestimate all things nuclear. One can combine my nuclear ejection theory with coplanar mini collisions (so not on Mars size body). The whole thing would have looked like one of these spirals generated by some stars… If a star can do it, so could the nuclear boiling Earth…

Some will object that the theory above does not explain the high angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system, that an impact provides with. They will object that I have to introduce this as an independent assumption.

It is true that, the more the independent assumptions in a theory, the weaker it is, or the more empirical.

My own Nuclear Core Theory (NCT) explains a lot of characteristics of the Earth. Could it also explain the high angular momentum? Yes. How? NCT considers that Earth formed not just in the Habitability Zone, but in a Nuclear Zone (NZ). The NZ cloud dust was full of heavy elements. Heavy nuclei can’t be held together by the nuclear force, so they fission, So the densest elements are radioactive.

As the NZ condensed, the heavy elements carried more angular momentum (angular momentum is the product of speed by mass by radius). So any planet in an NZ (which I believe necessary for long-term life evolution), once it has condensed from an NZ cloud, will have more angular momentum. The NCT implies high angular momentum.

Reality is stronger medicine than fiction, because what’s within is a pale imitation of interpreted fragments out there that it has been our good fortune to come across.

Conscience without science is only dwarfing of the soul.

Patrice Aymé



Note 1: Angular momentum was locally augmented by explosions, be they partly of nuclear origin, or caused by mini-impacts, or a combination of both. Mini-impacts would have been automatically in the orbital plane… Something the usual macro impact theory does NOT have! (Let me repeat slowly: the usual Mars sized body impact theory is very unlikely just on the ground that the impact has little probability to be within the plane of the ecliptic. The theory above makes this automatic: non-ecliptic impacts and explosions get de-selected, as the Earth’s OWN rotation, which is basically co-planar with the ecliptic is used crucially… OK, cynics may retort that it’s not quite so, and thus evidence for an off-ecliptic massive impact, agreed… Computer modelling will decide…)


Note 2: As I pointed out in passing, the more the independent assumptions in a theory, the weaker it is, or the more empirical? This may sound all too vague. However, it’s very practical. For example racism is logically weaker than non-racism, as it hypothesizes supplementary logics. (Which is, moreover, unobserved!) Some will say that this is just a version of the law of parsimony (lex parsimoniae, Occam razor; the idea is explicit in Aristotle: “We may assume the superiority ceteris paribus [other things being equal] of the demonstration which derives from fewer postulates or hypotheses.“.)


Note 3: Searching for my own essay on the Internet, July 8, 2018, to my somewhat dispirited surprise I stumbled on the following paper, which I never heard of, let alone read, before:

Click to access 1001.4243.pdf

Which argues the Moon formed in one big nuclear explosion, using some of the logic above (nuclear fission being the only source of power capable of lifting the material, etc…) The difference with my theory is that I don’t do it with just one big explosion, but a whole sequence of them. One big one looks completely implausible to me (the math of coalescing so much nuclear material in just one spot at one time don’t work). Many, yes… So my own idea holds its own, all the more as the mini nuke and mini impact theory go together well, in whichever proportions… Alleluia…

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30 Responses to “MOON From NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS, Glancing Blows?”

  1. red Says:

    “Conscience without science is only dwarfing of the soul.”

    we will have to define what science is. Does it include inner mind science ? or is it all about the outer, physical world and phenomenon (physics, stars, moons, fission).

    ~5K years ago, some advanced eastern cultures, focused more deeply on the mind and its behavior. It nourished/fulfilled their souls more than any advanced knowledge of outer world could ever dream of. The issue here, is of the probability of getting bamboozled even by reality. You could understand everything about supposed reality, but the more you dig there seems to be more to unravel. And a human being (for now) only has ~100 yrs (first 30 yrs of which, he cant think stably due to hormones and other biological bamboozling). Is there a smarter way to nourish/fulfill one’s soul, even without science ? This is the question answered by some eastern cultures few millennia ago. You could use science as a tool, but its not optimal method to crack the human puzzle. Understand and transcend (which supposedly 100% possible) the phenomenon with which a human thinks (meta, mind), you gain 100% wisdom and more.

    can science make human sheeple more cultured, happier, mature as a species ?? It certainly can on a long enough time (i have less hope though, considering the mind of the sheeple). But, a indoctrinated society, with mind awareness, can get there quicker and on a more permanent basis.

    In other words, human species need a eco-system (“culture”/laboratory) from the time they were born, to have their souls optimally evolving/fulfilled. Science/knowledge gathered later in their lives, can/will only be used as tools to further their evolutionary system that was already (unoptimally) established (before they even took calculus or schooling or advanced physics).

    you heal the mind (soul) by meditation (contemplation), not science (or any pursuit). One is nourishing, the other a chase (albeit of reality).


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hi Red! Science: any knowledge that seems certain. Thus human sciences. And monkey science. That’s my definition, and I know some will find it pathetic. But I thought about that for decades.


      • red Says:

        Supposedly everything is real and certain :). Even the dark side.

        I personally believe there is no randomness in this universe, only ignorance (until it turns into knowledge on a long enough time curve. we use probability until then.).


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Red: Science without meditation is only stamp collecting.
      For me meditation, or contemplation, and philosophy, or history, or even poetry, also chase reality. Chasing reality is not only the province of science.

      Actually, come to think of it, my friend the Homo Prehistoricus would certainly smirk that nothing but the chase is nourishing.
      Right now, some scientists are trying to crack the neuron. In mice or Homo. That would certainly help to crack the human puzzle.


      • red Says:

        yes, everything is a chase. But only one thing can transcend that chase. Its the chasing of the chase. Thats the goal of contemplation/meditation.

        “some scientists are trying to crack the neuron”

        What are they going to do next, once they crack it ? productize something ? what next then. where is it going. I hear a cell has as much space our visible cosmos has. Its just we humans haven’t found the scientific instruments to measure them.

        Nature is such that everything is but a state (with its parameters, context, scope, etc). And seeing (by contemplating on it) that the human mind can be in a state-less state, is one of absolute freedom. With it, it brings a certain maturity of mind, that the “unlimited common sense” (wisdom) hits like a flood.

        in other words, there are some states our minds can evolve into, that are only possible contemplating on nature (which includes nothing and everything).

        its chasing vs being the chase. The former, is done by supposed scientists (glorified animals). The latter, by a mature(‘er) human.


  2. Alexi Helligar Says:



    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      No Mr. Wizard, no!
      The difference between man and lion is that the former is endowed with reason, explicit reason that can advance the debate, not just snarling. That reminds me that my little theory actually explains the high angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system.
      When something explains much, and can be potentially disproven, while not in contradiction with facts, it’s potential science…


  3. Alexi Helligar Says:

    Your theory certainly is imaginative. So how do you think we can verify it?


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      That’s better, Alexi! It can be proven by, first, eliminating the competition. It seems to me that the Mars sized impactor is unlikely, for the reasons I gave.

      An attempt to rescue it would have the impactor forming as a sub-Terra at the trailing Lagrange point (that would give it the same composition). Then the sub-Terra would sneak in on the real thing…But that sounds so unlikely, it smacks of silliness. Another rescue attempt would be to transform it into a more violent impact by a Ceres size asteroid. That would certainly create high energy ejecta. However, then the isotopic problem shots that down (because the asteroid would have a different composition). Eliminating the competition is the Sherlock Holes method: what’s left, however unlikely, has got to be the truth!


  4. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Alexi Helligar I favour the impact theory over the fission theory you offer:…/moon-impact-theory/

    Giant Impact Theory of Lunar Formation Gains More Credibility
    A lingering problem in explaining the genesis of the moon appears to have been solved.

    The solar system 4.5 billion years ago was a veritable shooting gallery.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Alexi: The Sci Am article rehash the asteroid (bad isotopes!) and saves the collision theory by making it between 2 half Earths. I have a feeling that detailed computer simulations will knock the latter out. To believe you could have two half clouds doing two half Earths in basically Earth orbit is imaginable, but I am confident computations will knock it out: there is just not enough room, squeezed between Venus and Mars.

      Shooting gallery does not mean anything goes.

      The two half Earths “theory” has also the little humongous problem that they would both have melted on impact. Yet, that did not happen. Down with Harvard.


  5. John Michael Garland Says:

    Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television. ~Woody Allen


  6. Nathan Daniel Curry Says:

    1984 and Brave New World held up the mirror to what is going on. That is the purpose of myth. Art is an early warning system. It is not stronger than fiction. It need not be. Its role is mirror the crack. That is where the light gets in.


  7. Nathan Daniel Curry Says:

    “Exploring the Moon was a better use of money than feeding Africa. Indeed there were no wars among savages, hence no starving, yet.”

    Nathan Daniel Curry: How so? (not asked in a petty manner).


  8. Gena Dix Says:

    We are all savages


  9. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Gena (and answering Nathan too): the fact is, there was NO starving in West Africa in the 1960s. Just some malnutrition in children through lack of proteins intake due mostly to ignorance.

    If imperial Franco-British administration had still been in place I am certain this would not have happened).

    And there were no wars. Why? Because the Franco-British military was still present in force, and law and order persisted by inertia. Except in Guinea (where radical independence from France showed up as Sekou Toure”s radical dictatorship.

    Later things changed for the worst, as Africa got covered with wars (the Franco-British imperial machine having given way to plutocratic scavenging a la BHL). Starvation followed.

    And, yes, we are more or less savage. Eating a human being alive for as few weeks as was practiced in delightful Polynesia and Pacific islands less than three centuries ago, that was up high in the savagery scale. Although I must admit the droning of civilians by my good friend Obama ranks perhaps even worse…


  10. gmax Says:

    You are great advocate of the much maligned nuclear viewpoint! Funny if it were true that we owe so much to nukes. Well I guess we do.


  11. Patrice Ayme (@Tyranosopher) Says:

    Imagination is more important than cognition, because it gives birth to the latter.

    Even reproducing patterns, that is, learning, is a form, however modest, of imagination.


  12. We Are All Martians | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] sustain life (in spite of the formation of the Moon, which, whether from an impact or from my own nuclear eruption theory, was characterized by great heat, and worldwide fusion of the crust). By then Mars had been cool […]


  13. De Brunet D'Ambiallet Says:

    This is an amazingly creative theory. Not at all lunatic: it solves the problem that the moon is exactly like earth mantle in composition. Nothing else does.
    Wow, I am impressed. How come nobody speaks of it?


  14. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to Ian Miller]

    Superb reasoning and very enlightening. I was a bit aware of the isotope problems with comets shooting down the water origin, but this goes much further. Notice it looks like many exoplanets are full of water. Seems clear the water comes with the planet formation…

    For whatever it’s worth, I suggested the Moon was created from Earth by nuclear explosions plus rotation… I admit the theory is farfetched, emotionally speaking, but the logic sounds plausible, at least to me….


  15. Ian Miller Says:

    Hello Patrice, Your essay is imaginative at least. The Mars-sized collision theory, as you say, has a lot of problems and frankly I think it is just plain wrong, but there is an alternative involving collisions. Also, your argument about a highly elliptical orbit may not be correct. If it is elliptical, and close enough to generate significant tides, the tides circularize the orbit, at least to a high degree.

    In a later post I shall explain how I think the Earth formed, and why it has water, but first I have to consider the rest of the solar system because there are a number of trends that make my concept far more likely.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I didn’t use high ellipticity, I probably mis-express myself… One can combine my nuclear ejection theory with coplanar mini collisions (so not on Mars size body). The whole thing would have looked like one of these spirals generated by some stars… If a star can do it, so could the nuclear boiling Earth…


  16. Ian Miller Says:

    ianmillerblog on July 7, 2018 at 10:02 am said:
    Patrice, my feeling is he Earth’s accretion was not that hot and I think the argument for a magma ocean is weak, but if there were enough hot nuclear isotopes, I guess it can’ be ruled out on evidence. It will take me a little while to get to this, though.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Well Earth melted, to start with. At least that’s what I learned as a child… 😉 The old theory was that Earth started very hot, then cooled. MY own variant was that Earth came equipped with a nuclear reactor. I suggested that to a young, prize adorned geophysicist at Berkeley, and he accused me stridently after a while, so much so he made himself look ridiculous in front of his wife who went on to marry someone else. That made him even angrier.

      15 years later, he tried to make amends, wrote me something sweet, but I never saw him again. Now official literature says I was right (I am of course never quoted).

      All this to say I believe in the magma ocean… But a local magma theory, from local nukes, and, or local impacts work just as well…


  17. Ian Miller Says:

    The issue is somewhat complicated by the presence of pressure. You may not realise this, but at the bottom of the mantle, xenon is a very high melting solid. I shall discuss this more properly in a later post – it is too complicated for a simple answer, and it is probably of sufficient interest for others. It is an interesting issue, though, and of course there was a lot of radioactive decay heat.


  18. Patrice Ayme Says:

    To Ian Miller
    Patrice Ayme on July 27, 2019 at 8:35 pm said:
    That a Mars sized planet would have formed in Earth orbit seems very unlikely to me (not seen anywhere, and they would have collided earlier).

    I have my own (all-too) bold theory of Moon creation. Natural nuclear reactors gathering next to the surface keep on exploding, on a half melted Earth, and the molten debris gather just beyond the Roche Limit, most of them above the equator.


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