Science: A Well-Aged Moon

They wold make me believe that the moon was made of greene cheese.

—A Pistle to the Christian Reader, John Frith (1529)

Once man had finally stepped onto dusty lunar soil, scientists thought that they would easily be able to dispel all mysteries about the moon's composition. Alas, not so. Both seismic tests on the moon's surface and experiments on earth have shown that lunar material transmits sound at a perplexingly slower rate than ordinary terrestrial rocks.

Investigating the puzzle, two scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory checked what they drily called "much earlier speculations concerning the nature of the moon." Geophysicists Edward...

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