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New book on The Moon

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New book on The Moon

The Amazon chap just delivered a parcel containing a book I'd ordered.

What a cracking book on The Moon, covering history, exploration, observation and general enjoyment of our nearest celestial body. 

Well done Bill. I look forward to dipping into this later once the chores are done.

James

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New book on The Moon

Hearty congratulations on the publication of your book, Bill!

Jeremy

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New book on the Moon

Many thanks, James and Jeremy!

 Bill 

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Front cover image.

I'll be ordering a copy soon!

The image on the front cover threw me for a few moments. Then I realised that its a view looking down from above the Northern Hemisphere.

Chris.

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Front cover image

Well spotted, Chris! I wanted an image indicating that the book also covered lunar science in the age of spacecraft exploration.

Bill

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New book on the Moon

Hi Bill,

I must add this to my library. Any chance of it being available from the BAA Shop?

Clear skies,

     Alex.

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New book on the Moon

Hi Alex,

The book is available through normal channels such as booksellers and Amazon, but I’m not sure if it is possible through the BAA shop. I imagine that would require some sort of deal with the publisher. I’ll check with Ann Davies.

Very best,

Bill

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New Book on the Moon

Congratulations on the publication of your new book. Just ordered it and looking forward to a good read. Don't know where you find the time. Keep up the good work.

Ed

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New book on the Moon

Thanks, Ed!

Very best,

Bill

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Metoo

I got my copy today and look forward to start reading it "under the Moon" tonight

Lars

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Me too

Thanks, Lars. Hope you enjoy it!

Bill

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The Moon

Looking forward to the Russian language edition!

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The Moon

This is a fine book. I have read it this weekend and enjoyed it. 

 I will not make a review here, but will mention one thing that puzzles me.  The lava flows.

 The book explains the geologic periods with the heavy bombardment, creation of the maria, the Imbrium basin, new craters inside the Imbrium and shows that the lava flows came last. 

 On page 97 an illustration shows the Moon with all maria and Imbrum etc. before and after the lava flows ”filling pre-existing impact basins”.

 It will take a rather large amount of lava to fill the Imbrium basin up an almost bury craters like Archimedes (page 76 and 79)– not to mention all the other places to be filled up on the Moon (at the same time).

 Where did all that lava come from? I reckon that this flowing has taken some time – the early and late Imbrian periods where the lava flowed lasted from 3.84 – 3.2 billion years ago (p.107), that is 600 million years give or take a million or two. 

 The author writes on p. 97: “The lunar maria were formed when molten magma generated by the heat of radioactive decay and the subsequent melting of rock in the Moon’s mantle erupted to the lunar surface over 3 billion years ago, filling the floors of impact basins that had themselves been created some hundred of million years before that.”

 But the Moon had a solid crust – the crust solidified in the pre-nectarian period, it is said on p. 106 – I would think that the Moon was cooled so there was not that much heat left.  

 I mean, first you must have enough molten lava to fill the entire surface of the Moon and then you have to keep it warm and liquid for up to 500 million years.  

 Unless of course the flow-period was much shorter.

 How long would it take to fill the Imbrium?

 Having the recent eruptions on Hawaii in mind, where the lava comes out of every fissure and runs across the island, one might think that the Imbrium job was a matter of months, but to fill the Imbrium basin with a layer of lava more than 2-3 km (?) thick is something else. 

 Did the lava fill Imbrium like water rising in a bowl, or did the first layer solidify so the next flow had to come up through the first etc.? And how thick is the layer of lava?

 Charles A. Wood writes in “The modern Moon” (p. 42) that there were three lava flows in Imbrum and the second “extend 600 km…is only 35 meters thick and has washed down a almost nonexistent slope of 0.01˚. The lava must have been very fluid, more like water and it must have roared across the Moon’s surface at speeds of many kilometers pr. hour.” 

 35 meter is not much, and the layer of lava around Montes Pico and Piton and the other “costal areas” around Imbrium must have been much thicker – several kilometres, I guess. Archimedes is 2 km. high now and must have been much higher (and deeper) before the lava came.

 Why would all this lava suddenly break through and flood the surface? Was there a special reason?  

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Lava flows

Hello Lars,

Thank you for your careful and very thoughtful reading of my book. You raise some very good questions! Of course, contemporary lunar science cannot yet produce definitive answers for everything, but the case for how the lunar maria were formed is pretty convincing. This is probably not the place to go into lengthy detail, but I can certainly try to address some of your questions.

We should bear in mind that the recent Hawaiian eruptions and lava flows were on a microscopic scale compared with the events that created the lunar maria. The enormous energies released in the impacts that created the huge basins at the sites of subsequent mare development would have compressed, shattered, melted and fractured the lunar crust at the impact site. Such a compromised site would have provided a preferential route for the subsequent eruption and flow of magma on to the surface, magma that had been kept molten by the effects of churning in the interior magma ocean and the decay of radioactive elements.

As Wood says, once vented onto the surface the lavas would indeed have flowed relative easily over great distances, being much less viscous than lavas on Earth (the Moon as a whole is made up of less dense material). Also the larger maria at least would have been formed not in one go, but by successive lava flows. This is obvious in the Mare Serenitatis, where the flows of different lavas are obvious even to the eye at the telescope and appear as different colours and shades.

This would all have gone on until the Moon had cooled sufficiently to prevent the eruption of lavas on such a huge scale, (although smaller forms of volcanic activity continued long afterwards).

Thank you again for your interest!

Bill

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Lava flows

Hello Bill

 Thank you for your answer.

 I guess the lava flooding in Imbrium would have been a great sight, seen ”live” in a telescope from the Earth.

Lars