It takes a certain amount of courage to step beyond one's day-to-day experiments and look at the big picture - and the origin of the Moon is a big picture question par excellence. Perhaps it makes sense that William Hartmann, one of the two scientists who unraveled the Moon's biggest mystery, is not only a scientist but also a part-time artist and science fiction writer. It took someone with an artist's eye and a fiction writer's speculative temperament to see the big picture.
This is a book about that big picture: the origin of the Moon, as interpreted by Hartmann and Alastair Cameron, the second patriarch of The Big Splat. It is also about a doomed planet called Theia, and a familiar one called Earth that used to look vastly different from today's Earth. But, most of all, it is about a long lineage of intellectual voyagers who began exploring the Moon long before Neil Armstrong planted his boot into the lunar dust.
"Mackenzie is a popular-science ace--magnetically readable, preternaturally clear, amazingly concise. Consider this the popular moon-science book of our times." (Booklist)
"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)
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