Geologists’ Moon

  • David M. Harland
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


In 1662 Robert Hooke was made curator of the recently formed Royal Society of London. He was charged with devising demonstration experiments. As an extremely skilled technical artist, in 1665 he published Micrographica, which was profusely illustrated with his own observations using a telescope and a microscope. Although he included a detailed drawing of the lunar crater Hipparchus, which is at the centre of the Moon’s disk, he had no desire to map the Moon. However, he undertook a series of experiments to investigate how craters may have formed. First he dropped heavy balls into tightly packed wet clay, and examined the imprints that they made. He also heated alabaster until it bubbled, and then let it set so that the last bubbles to break the surface produced craters. However, just as Hooke could not imagine where the projectiles could have come from to scar the Moon so intensively, nor could he conceive how the surface could have been sufficiently hot to blister on such a scale.


Lunar Surface Concentric Ring Impact Crater Solar Nebula Significant Interval 
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Copyright information

© Praxis Publishing Ltd. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Harland
    • 1
  1. 1.Kelvinbridge GlasgowUK

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