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For Bill O’Reilly – How did the moon get there? Can you explain that to me?

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Mr. O’Reilly,

Thank you for your recent question, “How did the moon get there? Can you explain that to me?” as seen in this video:

This a classic HowStuffWorks kind of question. The following videos give a general summary of the current scientific thinking around the Moon’s origin:

The basic idea is easily stated: A planet-like object with a size roughly equal to Mars hit the earth, and the moon was formed by the matter ejected into orbit by that collision.

Science is based on evidence. What evidence do we have to support this view of the moon’s origin? One piece of evidence came back from the moon missions. The moon rocks collected by the Apollo astronauts support the theory. Another is the canting of the earth’s rotational axis and the length of the earth day. Another is the distance of the moon from the earth and the increase in that distance over time. And so on. There is a great deal of material available through Google if you would like to increase your scientific understanding of the moon’s origin.

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