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The Big Splat, or How Our Moon Came to Be Hardcover – March 1, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 45 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Mackenzie prefaces his absorbing account of the new "giant impact" theory of the moon's origin with the fascinating story of humanity's long relationship with Earth's only natural satellite. Evidence of that relationship begins with what is very probably a lunar calendar among the famous Lascaux cave paintings, and continues in early civilizations' timekeeping uses of the moon and classical Greek ideas about the moon's composition. In the fifth century B.C.E., Anaxagoras correctly realized that the moon was made of rock. Later, Aristotle didn't agree, and his view held sway for centuries. During the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Kant, Buffon, and Laplace vastly expanded knowledge and theory about the moon-Earth relationship. Charles Darwin's son George (1845-1912) performed prodigies of calculation to argue that the moon "fissioned" from Earth. American crank T. J. J. See and modest Frenchman Edouard Roche pioneered, respectively, two other lunar-origin theories: See, that Earth "captured" the moon when it passed close by; Roche, that Earth and the moon "coaccreted" in the same part of the solar system. The findings of the Apollo expeditions and the enormous mathematical calculations facilitated by computers helped put forth astronomer and artist William Hartmann's idea that a near-Mars-size planet smashing into Earth produced the moon. Mackenzie is a popular-science ace--magnetically readable, preternaturally clear, amazingly concise. Consider this the popular moon-science book of our times. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

&fascinating! For everyone with even the slightest interest in astronomy&an insightful and entertaining read& -- M2 Best Books, 14 July 2003

"...Dana Mackenziereveals the truth..." (The Mail on Sunday, 30 March 2003)

"...this is a most useful and interesting book..." (New Scientist, 7 June 2003)

"A most useful and interesting book." (Patrick Moore in New Scientist)

"...an absorbing and informative account of the quest to explain the genesis of the moon..." (Astronomy & Space, June 2003)

"...fascinating! For everyone with even the slightest interest in astronomyan insightful and entertaining read..." (M2 Best Books, 14 July 2003)

"Besides telling an interesting tale well and elucidating how science progresses, Mackenzie's book emphasizes the fact that impacts have been the primary creative and destructive process throughout the history of the Solar System." (NATURE)

"The Big Splat is a superb exploration of an important chapter in the history of Earth and its satellite. Every Moon-buff will want a copy." (Astronomy)

"...a comprehensive travelogue of lunar nativities throughout history..." (Astronomy Now, March 2004)

"...a comprehensive travelogue of lunar nativities throughout history..." -- Astronomy Now, March 2004

"...this is a most useful and interesting book… -- New Scientist, 7 June 2003

"...this is a most useful and interesting book…" -- New Scientist, 7 June 2003

"…Dana Mackenzie…reveals the truth…" -- The Mail on Sunday, 30 March 2003

"…an absorbing and informative account of the quest to explain the genesis of the moon…" -- Astronomy & Space, June 2003

"…fascinating! For everyone with even the slightest interest in astronomy…an insightful and entertaining read…" -- M2 Best Books, 14 July 2003

…Dana Mackenzie…reveals the truth… -- The Mail on Sunday, 30 March 2003

…an absorbing and informative account of the quest to explain the genesis of the moon… -- Astronomy & Space, June 2003

…fascinating! For everyone with even the slightest interest in astronomy…an insightful and entertaining read… -- M2 Best Books, 14 July 2003


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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0471150576
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Wiley; 1st edition (March 1, 2003)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 240 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780471150572
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0471150572
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.11 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.34 x 0.86 x 9.32 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 45 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
45 global ratings
5 star
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4 star
29%
3 star 0% (0%) 0%
2 star 0% (0%) 0%
1 star 0% (0%) 0%
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Reviewed in the United States on April 12, 2003
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 21, 2017
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