Another stunner from the Astronomy Picture of the Day site. This one is an animation of the likely formation of the Moon.
Watching it, I tend to think of one of my favorite scenes from The Shack; here, Mac is speaking with Sarayu:
Sarayu laughed. “I am here, Mack. … That is the wonder and adventure of exploration, a piece of what you call science—to discern and discover what we have hidden for you to find.”
“So why did you hide it?” Mack inquired.
“Why do children love to hide and seek? Ask any person who has a passion to explore and discover and create. The choice to hide so many wonders from you is an act of love that is a gift inside the process of life.”*
Rather a lot colder and more clinical is the analysis on the webpage; note that there is a lot of guessing going on:
Explanation: What is the history of the Moon? The Moon was likely created from debris expelled when a Mars-sized object violently impacted the Earth about 4.5 billion years ago. Just after gravitationally condensing, as imagined above, the glowing-hot surface of the Moon cooled and cracked. Rocks large and small continued to impact the surface, including a particularly large impact that created Aitken Basin about 4.3 billion years ago. A Heavy Bombardment period then continued for hundreds of millions of years, creating large basins all over the lunar surface. Over the next few billion years lava flowed into Earth-side basins, eventually cooling into the dark maria we see today. As always, relentless impacts continued, forming the craters we see today, slowly diminishing over the past billion years. Today the cooled Moon we know and love is as dark as coal and always keeps the same face toward Earth. Exactly how the Moon formed initially, and why lunar maria are only on the Earth side, remain active topics of research.
Yup, a bit cold… However the nutty side of me is thinking, “God Rocks…” (Yes, the pun is intended.)
I prefer to think of it as ‘what we have hidden for you to find…’
*(Young, William P. (2008-06-20). The Shack (p. 142). Hachette Book Group.)