back to article Riddle of odd bulge found on moon is solved

An analysis of the shape of the Moon has shown it is not actually a sphere – but is in fact slightly lemon-shaped. This has revealed important clues as to how the Earth's satellite body formed (and no, it still doesn't involve any cheese). A paper published in the July 30 issue of Nature by Ian Garrick-Bethell – an assistant …

  1. frank ly

    Not cheese

    Lemon meringue?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Not cheese

      I was thinking a soft-boiled egg maybe.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not cheese

      What would a lump of 4,000,000,000-year old cheese stored in a vacuum look like, anyway??

    3. The First Dave Silver badge

      Re: Not cheese

      Don't be silly, of course it had _a lot_ to do with cheese.

    4. Scroticus Canis

      Re: Not cheese

      If you really want to know ask a Clanger or the Soup Dragon

  2. Anomalous Cowshed

    has anyone ever wondered why they call it the MOOn

    Cheese, lemon...please, all this is rather trivial.

    There is an ancient tale...archaeologists, astronomers and other experts, sifting through the remains of ancient libraries are said to have unearthed evidence that once upon a time the moon was much closer to Earth, and much smaller than it is today.

    It is said that a species of bovine is known to have, at least on one occasion, 'jumped over' it, under suspicious circumstances - with certain animals of the feline family acting rather unusually in respect of specific musical instruments, and cutlery behaving in a rather unbecoming manner with items of crockery, all suggesting a kind of primordial situation, with much lower gravity, but higher magnetic forces and far greater concentrations of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere.

    Before any pedantic and well informed commentards pull me up on this, I hasten to add that there were other symptoms of this general disruption in the conditions we take for granted these days, but they appear to have slipped out of my mind.

    Some people believe that at least part of the text is symbolic, and not meant to be taken literally, but there are many, especially among the young, who consider that this is a true story. Therefore it deserves to be treated more seriously and maybe even analyzed by boffins.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Teach the controversy!

      Our children deserve to hear both sides of this debate - anything else would be lunacy!

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "Volcanic activity."

    I did not know it had volcanoes.

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: "Volcanic activity."

      Not for billions of years. But the mare (mainly basalts) are believed to have been created by volcanic activity.

      1. Denarius

        Re: "Volcanic activity."

        full on volcanic activity long gone, yes, but evidence from moon glints in some craters suggests outgassing still occurs. Suggestions the Moon has a layer of hot rock/magma from its orbital variation around the Earth to act as a source of volatiles. OTOH, I thought the mares were massive impact sites, not flood volcanic basalt, hence the mascons under them. Odd bit about moon is that Earth side has big flat basalt plains with older highlands and the other is merely heavily cratered, suggesting different histories. It would have been informative to launch the remaining Saturn Vs as one flight was scheduled to go into the highlands. However, Nixon had to fund the war de-juere somehow,

    2. cray74

      Re: "Volcanic activity."

      Lunar volcanism:

      Luna ain't Io or Enceladus, but it once had active volcanos that shaped its visible surface.

  4. Martin

    Of course, had we not abandoned the Apollo project...

    ...we would have, by now, had a permanent scientific colony up there, which would have been able to analyse this sort of thing much more accurately and effectively.


    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Of course, had we not abandoned the Apollo project...

      If we had a colony up there it would probably spend most of its time fighting other colonies or finding excuses to fight other colonies.

      1. BoldMan

        Re: Of course, had we not abandoned the Apollo project...

        They'd be wearing purple wigs and silver mini-skirts!

    2. Beachrider

      Re: Of course, had we not abandoned the Apollo project...

      The problem with settlements on Luna is that no one has built 'self sustaining settlements' models. Several have tried, but the 14-day 'sun is up' followed by the 14-day 'sun is down' diurnal-cycle has been problematic. It creates very large temperature swings.

      The interesting discussion about polar settlements (where this 28-day cycle MIGHT be less severe) haven't borne fruit, either.

      There is quite a lively discussion about water+mineral availability, but 99%+ of Luna is drier than Atacama.

      1. Martin Budden Bronze badge

        Re: Of course, had we not abandoned the Apollo project...

        Another problem with settlements on Luna is radiation. And no, this has nothing to do with Eagle Transporters.

    3. Charles Manning

      Why send a man to do a robot's job?

      Sending a robot with sensors gets you that data cheaply and easily.

      You only send people when you want to make political statements.

      1. DrTechnical

        Re: Why send a man to do a robot's job?

        And you were HOW old in July 1969? I was 19. It was the most wonderful thing ever done by mankind. Period.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Why send a man to do a robot's job?

        I know some Robots that would disagree with you Sir....

      3. Martin

        Re: Why send a man to do a robot's job?

        So we should abandon the science labs in Antarctica, because they are only political statements, and because robots can do the job so much better?

        If we really want science labs to explore the moon properly, they need to be on the moon, and staffed with people (and, yes, robots).

  5. qwertyuiop

    When life gives you lemons...

    ...grumble briefly because they're not limes then reach for the Tequila and salt!

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: When life gives you lemons...

      Don’t make Lemonade. Make life take the Lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons, what the hell am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > A detailed analysis of the shape of the Moon has shown that it isn't a sphere

    Any fule kno ... the moon's shape is a close approximation to a selenoid.

  7. Avatar of They

    Happens elsewhere

    Mercury is the same, at times its crust bulges by upto 400 miles (vertically) due to the pull of the sun. If I remember my Geology degree correctly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Happens elsewhere

      That was the whole degree? Sign me up!!

  8. imanidiot Silver badge

    Thats no moon!

    We all know its a giant egg, put there to hatch by some giant space alien!

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