How long did it take the moon to form?

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symbolite

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I recently saw the "Cosmic Collisions" show at Hayden Planetarium in the American Museum of Natural History. In the show they claimed the moon only took a month to form. That doesn't seem correct in my opinion. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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What do you base your opinion on?<br /><br />The suggestion that the moon formed very quickly is based on detailed models that predict how the material is distributed after an impact that could have created the moon.<br /><br />What do you suggest is wrong about the fluid dynamic models? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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symbolite

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Well i have nothing to base my opinion on, im no expert, im just a student in college. It just seems odd to me that something that large could have sucked up all the debris and formed so quickly. Before hearing that it formed in a month, i would of thought at the very least a couple hundred years or more. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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pyoko

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"The Moon in a month".<br />That's just poetic, isn't it? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p><p><span style="color:#ff9900" class="Apple-style-span">-pyoko</span> <span style="color:#333333" class="Apple-style-span">the</span> <span style="color:#339966" class="Apple-style-span">duck </span></p><p><span style="color:#339966" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="color:#808080;font-style:italic" class="Apple-style-span">It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.</span></span></p> </div>
 
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tony873004

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This is about as simple as models get, but here's a description of a simulation I performed, placing 100 small moonlets in orbit around Earth. It took roughly 1 month for them to merge into 2 objects. A few weeks later, these two objects merged into 1 object. So according to this simple model, on order of a month is correct.<br /><br />http://www.orbitsimulator.com/gravity/articles/moonbuilder.html
 
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billslugg

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Symbolite<br />I'm with you. I look at Saturn, and that stuff has been up there for at least 500 years and shows no signs of making a moon yet. Why did our moon do it in a week and Saturn is still at it? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p> </div>
 
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tony873004

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Saturn's ring particles are inside its Roche Limit. The particles that formed Earth's Moon were outside Earth's Roche Limit.
 
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billslugg

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But Roche was not born until 1820!! Saturn's rings were discovered in 1610 and the Moon is billions of years old!<br /><br />Explain that one Tony!! <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p> </div>
 
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tony873004

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I'm at a loss for words <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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willpittenger

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For the less initiated, any moon, comet, or asteroid that gets too close to a planet or other major source of gravity will be torn apart by the tides exerted on the object by planet's gravitational forces. This is what we call the Roche Limit. I have to believe that Bill Slugg was talking about Saturn's ring system. Those rings are the remains of one or more moons that ventured inside the Roche Limit. They can't form a new moon unless they find a way outside the Roche Limit.<br /><br />Incidentally, Shoemaker-Levy 9 is another example of an object that ventured inside the Roche Limit of a planet, in that case, Jupiter. That caused the comet (which may actually have been a asteroid) to break up into the many pieces we saw in the pictures. It was never imaged prior to the breakup that I know of. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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willpittenger

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I am not sure that Buzz Aldrin would agree with you. When Armstrong called the views beautiful, Aldrin replied with "Magnificent Desolation." <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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alokmohan

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Magnifient desolation is not cotrary to beautiful.I am a fan of Buzz after he broke the jaws of a producer.
 
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pyoko

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"Current estimates based on computer simulations of such an event suggest that some two percent of the original mass of Theia ended up as an orbiting ring of debris, about half of which coalesced into the Moon between one and 100 years after the impact. "<br /><br />from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theia_%28hypothetical_planet%29 <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p><p><span style="color:#ff9900" class="Apple-style-span">-pyoko</span> <span style="color:#333333" class="Apple-style-span">the</span> <span style="color:#339966" class="Apple-style-span">duck </span></p><p><span style="color:#339966" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="color:#808080;font-style:italic" class="Apple-style-span">It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.</span></span></p> </div>
 
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vandivx

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""The Moon in a month".<br />That's just poetic, isn't it?"<br /><br /><br />yeah if somebody else told it like billslugg here I would think he has one on us but as it is one has got to believe it no matter how ridiculous (or as you put it poetic) it seems to be<br /><br />vanDivX <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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