The origin and evolution of the Moon is now well understood. Many bizarre theories were proposed to account for our satellite before these were swept away by the data from the Apollo missions. We now understand with the benefit of hindsight that we are looking at a very ancient object whose surface has changed little for the past 3.5 b.y.

Nevertheless the Moon remains a unique body in the solar system. The Moon formed as the result of a glancing collision with the Earth of a Mars-sized impactor late in the accretional history of the Earth when both bodies had...

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