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BAA Great Debate on the formation of Moon Craters

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BAA Great Debate on the formation of Moon Craters

Posted by TonyAngel at 13:37 on 2011 Jan 17

I came across this well discussed debate in the Journal Archives. It took place over two meetings during 1925. In the Blue Corner we have Dr. W.H. Steavenson speaking for "the creation of craters by Impactby bodies from without" and in the Red Corner Mr. Goodacre speaking for "Volcanic energy exercised from within".On a serious note the discussion was generated by a Paper published in the Journal (Volume 35 issue 6) by J. W .WILSON, F.R.A.S. entitled "Note on the Meteoric Theory of the Origin of the Lunar Craters". In it he calculates the kinetic energy generated by an impact meteor required to throw up the lunar material to form crater walls. This was read at the March Meeting of 1925. After being read the President - Rev. C. D. PD.AVIES, M.A., F.R.A.S. - said "Many of us have opinions on this interesting subject that Mr. Wilson has introduced to us. A paper like this is worth discussing thoroughly, and as it is now late we will reserve the discussion until our Meeting on 27th May, since our Meeting in April is for conversation. My own feeling is against the theory assumed by Mr. Wilson, but his arguments have thrown a definite light on lunar matters".I do not know how many times a Paper in the Journal has generated such a long debate within the Association, but I expect that they were rare. That it proved of great interest is shown by the majority of the members at the first meeting wanting it to be continued at the next meeting.On reading the reports of the two meetings I did feel that Dr. Steavenson produced the best arguments, but then current knowledge could have clouded my thinking.I do recommend members to read the three issues. It would be interesting to know what subject covered by a Paper submitted in the near future could generate a similar form of debate.The Journals can be found in the Members Section of the BAA Web Site under Downloads, Journal. Volume 35 Issues 6 and 7 are on page 119 and Issue 8 on page 118.