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The Moon's orbit history and inferences on its originA frequency dependent model of tidal friction was used to determine the evolution of the Earth-Moon system. The analysis considers the lunar orbit eccentricity and inclination, the solar tide on the Earth, Earth oblateness, and higher order terms in the tidal potential. A solution of the equations governing the precession of the Earth's rotational angular momentum and the lunar ascending node is found. The history is consistent with a capture origin for the Moon. It rules out the origin of the Moon by fission. Results are shown for a range of assumed values for the lunar tidal dissipation. Tidal dissipation within the Moon, during what would be the immediate postcapture period, is shown to be capable of significantly heating the Moon. The immediate postcapture orbit has a periapsis within the Earth's Roche limit. Capture into resonance with the Earth's gravitational field as this orbit tidally evolves is suggested to be a mechanism to prevent so close, an approach. It is shown that the probability of such capture is negligibly small and alternative hypotheses for the survival of the Roche limit passage is offered.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Conway, B. A. (Illinois Univ. Urbana, IL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1984
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar Planetary Inst. Conf. on the Origin of the Moon
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19850005400Analytic PrimaryConference on the Origin of the Moon