web metrics

Gerardus D. Bouw, Ph.D.

In the October 22, 1993 issue of Science, there is a report that researchers Stanley G. Love & Donald E. Brownlee found 761 small impact craters on a surface of the Long Duration Exposure Facility satellite. The satellite was up for five and three-quarters years. The impacts suggest that 40,000 metric tons (1 metric ton is 2200 pounds) of micrometeors fall to earth every year. “This exceeds the values of other researchers — who used less direct means of estimating the quantity of dust — but it is comparable to rates crudely calculated from the long- term accumulation of there rare element iridium in sea sediment and Antarctic ice.”

Evolution on Earth

So what does this mean? Well, based on analysis by rockets fired into the upper atmosphere in the late 1950s and early 1960s, astronomers worried about the amount of dust on the moon. Would rockets landing on the moon be swallowed up by tens of feet of dust accumulated over billions of years? The astronomer Thomas Gold, speculated that man might find rivers of dust on the moon. The dust, it was thought, would be transported by static-electric charges, and would stream down the slopes of the moon to the mare (lunar “seas”). When we finally did land on the moon, astronomers puzzled over the lack of dust on the moon. Why was there only a few thousand years worth of dust instead of billions of years worth?

In response to this evidence for a young moon, politically correct ”scientists” took another look at the data and decided (surprise! surprise!) that the infall rate of the dust (called micrometeoroids) had been overestimated by the rocket data. It was decided that dust from the rocket had corrupted the data. So evolution was saved from a fate worse than death, and the moon recovered her billions of years. And now, according to the aforementioned report, all the evidence falls right into its evolutionary place, for this most recent research seems “right on the money” from the evolutionist view point, doesn't it? Or does it?

Meanwhile, back on the Moon

So the amount of meteoritic dust falling to earth satisfies ”evolutionary requirements.” That's fine and dandy for the earth, but what does it do to the old moon-dust problem? Well, as “everybody who's half-way educated knows,” the moon is five billion years old. So, given the size and gravity of the moon relative to the earth, we can compute the rate at which the dust is falling onto the moon based on the observed dust falling to earth. It turns out that according to these numbers, there should be about 500 lbs. of dust on each square inch of the lunar surface (3.5 x 104 gm/cm2). On the other hand, if the moon's surface was only 6,000 years old there would be about a fifth of a gram of dust per square inch (4.2 x 10-2 gm/cm2).

Now it should be noted that the current influx of dust onto the moon's surface is low from an evolutionary standpoint. Back in the “good old days,” (5 billion years ago,) when the moon and earth were just babes freshly born out of the mystical gas and dust cloud which constituted their “stellar nursery,” there were many, many, many, pieces of rocks and dust zipping around in space. There were so many that they peppered the surfaces of the planets with many craters. Today, there are very few of those rocks left. So, given what we “know” about the evolutionary formation of the solar system, the above estimate of 500 pounds of dust on each square inch of the moon is an absolute minimum. (By the way, you are not to ask where the rocks came from if there were no bodies with enough gravity to consolidate the dust into rocks.)

Time for Spring Cleaning

Now evolution “has to be true,” so something must have cleaned up the dust on the moon (and planets, too, by the way). Obviously, in the spring of the moon's life, the dust from its earliest days must have been cleaned up. Perhaps it went into the moon. Maybe it all fell while the moon was still molten. One wonders what the radiation pressure of a molten moon was like against the dust. The problem then is that the craters were formed at the same time and a molten moon would have obliterated all evidence of the craters.

On the other hand, if the bombardment by the larger rocks, the ones which formed the craters, happened after all the dust had settled, then the dust could have been blown off the surface of the moon. It has been argued that once upon a time the moon hit a cloud of large fragments (whence they came, no one can tell), and that the resulting impacts blew off all of the dust (something that is less likely to happen than that all the air will stick to the ceiling of the room in which you are sitting and leave you to choke in a vacuum). The most “recent” such episode could not have been less than 500,000,000 years ago since such collisions would have destroyed all life on earth, but we may be able to save the earth with additional hypotheses, if need be. If that's the case, then there should now be 50 lbs. of dust per square inch on the lunar surface. In actual fact, it looks more like an ounce per square inch (see cover photo).

Creationist evidence

But what of the lack of dust from a creationist stance? After all, the footprints of the astronauts on the moon revealed more than a fifth of a gram of dust per square inch of lunar surface. True enough, but remember that the estimates based on the current micrometeoroid abundance is a minimum. Dust probably did result from the creation event, especially if there was a nuclear cooling preceded by a boiling surface as I've proposed elsewhere.1 Furthermore, meteor impacts have been recorded on the moon and they do throw out dust. But one thing is for sure, there is no way to make a 5-billion-year-old moon compatible with the inch or so of dust on the surface of the moon.

The glass mystery

Finally, there is one thing which seems to have been forgotten by lunar scientists. On the Apollo 11 mission, the astronauts carried a close-up stereo camera which photographed a 3 by 3 inch (7.6 by 7.6 cm) area of the lunar surface.2 They took 17 pictures. The camera, which could see far better than the naked eye, recorded glossy surfaces, “in ap pearance a glass of color similar to the surrounding powdery medium. The glassy material covered the surfaces of crater rocks. The craters range from 8 inches to about five feet in diameter. The glassy patches 0.02 inch (0.5 mm) to 0.4 inch (1 cm) in size. There was some evidence that the glass, when liquid, had trickled down the side of the rocks.

The great mystery at the time was that the “glass” could not be older than about 20,000 years. The astronomer, Thomas Gold of Cornell University, speculated that 25,000 years ago a violent solar flare heated up the surface of the moon to the melting point, at least, where focused in the craters. The same flare was then blamed by the famous Carl Sagan for sweeping away the entire atmosphere of Mars, which was subsequently refreshed from the air trapped in its polar caps. This latter, to explain the apparent absence of nitrogen on Mars. Also, the flare was blamed for seeding the earth's atmosphere with light helium (He3), thus leading to an over-abundance of that isotope relative to the more common He4 in the earth's atmosphere.3 This makes the earth's atmosphere ”look” younger than it “actually is.”

The scenario proposed by Gold and Sagan is too fanciful for geologists who insist that the evidence is not there. Jack Green4 noted that such glassy deposits are characteristic of volcanic bombs, which supports the author's scenario for the creation of the moon, by the way. To further complicate matters, W. R. Greenwood and Grant Heiken5 reported from the Geology and Geochemistry Branch of the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas, that “Although the astronauts did not observe glass deposits outside the small craters, nevertheless glass spheres, pancakes, and rock coatings are visible in close-up photographs taken near the lunar module, which was positioned away from the small craters. Also, all these features are a part of the returned sample collected away from the small craters in which glass was described.” They further suggest that glass in larger craters may be covered by material which had fallen back into the crater after the glass was deposited.

I wrote to Gold in the late 1970s and asked him about the status of the glass. I received no reply. Case closed, I suppose. Still, one may wonder why we were so fortunate as to arrive within the last few years of the moon's 4.5-billion year history to record the last vestiges of the glass, for the solar wind would have ablated it to dust over the next few thousand years. Or why was it not buried under all the dust? And how thick must the glass have been initially to have lasted millions to billions of years? Maybe that's why Gold did not answer.

The remarkable hardness of moon rocks

We tend to think of rocks as hard objects, but actually they are plastic. Sure enough, we see molten rocks in volcanoes, and it doesn't really take that much pressure to melt rock, for if it did then why would they melt so near to the earth's surface. What about the rocks of the moon?

It turns out that the moon rocks are magnificently harder than any rocks on earth. Indeed, they are harder than the rocks brought back by the Apollo missions. Those samples just weren't characteristic of the rest of the moon. Take the craters of the moon, for example. The rocks underlying the craters are a thousand times harder than any rocks ever measured in the laboratory.6 If the rocks under the craters were not so much harder than normal rocks, the crater rims and central peaks would have sunk into the underlying rock hundreds of millions of years ago. On the other hand, if the moon were only six thousand years old …. Hmmm.


1 G. D. Bouw, 1993. “Astronomy of the creation week,” in The Geocentric Papers, pp. 18-23. For availability see the back cover of this issue.

2 T. Gold, 1969. “Apollo 11 Observations of a Remarkable Glazing Phenomenon on the Lunar Surface,” Science, 165:1345-1349. (26 September.

3 For details on the abundance anomaly see “Helium3 Abundance and the Earth's Atmosphere” in “Readers' Forum,” Biblical Astronomer No. 66, p. 23, Fall 1993.

4 J. Green, 1970. “Origin of Glass Deposits in Lunar Craters,” Science, 168:608-609. 1 May.

5 W. R. Greenwood & Grant Heiken, ibid., p. 611.

6 G. R. Morton, H. S. Slusher & R. E. Madock, 1983. “The age of lunar craters”, Creation Research Society Quarterly, 20(2):105-108.

Translated from WS2000 on 4 February 2006 by ws2html.