Re: moon dust info - please help

Arthur V. Chadwick (
Tue, 03 Nov 1998 09:13:11 -0800

At 07:32 PM 11/3/98 +1100, Jonathan wrote:
>National Geographic is probably a good indicator of what the informed
public would be reading. The articles I was able to "unearth"
("unmoon"???) show that dust theory was never portrayed in National
Geographic as mainstream. At best it was a contentious possibility.

I remind those of you more interested in drubbing YECs than in the facts
that Chuck posted the following quote from National Geographic last week.
I would also remind you that it was a scientist who originated the idea of
large manounts of dust on the moon, not a YEC creationist. This however
does not excuse those who held this view for contiuing to promote it long
after the scientific community had revised its estimates of influx.

Chuck said:

I don't remember much about the landing of the first astronauts on the moon
and I don't want to add to the confusion, but I happen to have a pretty
complete inventory of National Geographics in my room. I hauled out the
1964 March issue, just out of curiosity.

In this issue there is an article "How we plan to put a man on the moon."
On page 382 it states that

"Perhaps the greatest hazards will be found on the moon itself. For
example, we know little about the composition of the lunar surface. Some
authorities believe it may be covered by a dust layer from four inches to
three feet in depth. Others think the dust in some areas may be far deeper,
enough to engulf any spaceship. A third group holds to the theory that
porous rock covers much of the surface."

"Obviously, we cannot risk landing men until these uncertainties are
resolved by unmanned lunar probes, such as our forthcoming Ranger and
Surveyors. Their intelligence will determine the final design of the LEM's
landing gear."

Apparently, in 1964, there was still some uncertainty about the amount of
dust, even though the drawings in the NGM indicate that the artists thought
that the layers would not be very thick.