The age-old question of how our home planet and its satellite originated has in recent times undergone a minor revolution. The emergence of the "giant impact theory" as the most successful
model for the origin of the Moon has been difficult to reconcile with some aspects of the Earth, and the development of an integrated model for the origin of the Earth-Moon system has been difficult
for this reason. However, recent technical advances in experimental and isotopic work, together with intensified interest in the modeling of planetary dynamics, have produced a wealth of new results
requiring a rethinking of models for the origin of the Earth and Moon. This book is intended to serve as a resource for those scientists working closely in this field, while at the same time it
provides enough balance and depth to offer an introduction for students or technically minded general readers. Its thirty chapters address isotopic and chemical constraints on accretion, the dynamics
of terrestrial planet formation, the impact-triggered formation of the Earth-Moon system, differentiation of the Earth and Moon, the origin of terrestrial volatiles, and conditions on the young Earth
and Moon. Covering such subjects as the history and origin of the Moon's orbit, water on the Earth, and the implications of Earth-Moon interactions for terrestrial climate and life, the book
constitutes a state-of-the-art overview of the most recent investigations in the field. Although many advances have been made in our ability to evaluate competing models of the formation of the
Earth-Moon system, there are still many gaps in our understanding. This book makes great strides toward closing those gaps by highlighting the extensive progress that has been made and pointing toward
Origin of the Earth and Moon
is one of the latest additions to the superb University of Arizona Space Science Series. It is just as good as the rest. The same care has gone into both selecting the authors and the topics of the twenty-nine review papers, and into ensuring that the subject is covered not only in depth but also in a way that makes it accessible to any keen, inquisitive astronomer. . . . This is a clear, timely, erudite, informative, well-referenced introduction to the details of the coupled formation and early evolution of the Earth/Moon system.
One of the most exciting volumes on the subject of planetary formation to have appeared to date. Together, the papers give the reader all the fascination of a good serial detective story, one in which amazing, exciting, and subtle discoveries are continually revealed by diligent research. . . . Anyone with the smallest interest in planetary science should have a copy of this book.