DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 32. Kuiper, Urey & Masursky Prize Lectures
Plenary, Chair: R. P. Binzel, Friday, September 5, 2003, 1:30-3:30pm, Steinbeck

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[32.02] Satellite Formation and the Origin of the Moon

R. M. Canup (Southwest Research Institute)

Satellite formation appears to be a natural byproduct of planet formation, given the multitude of satellites in our solar system. Our own Moon is believed to have resulted from what was perhaps the largest impact experienced by the Earth during its accretion. The so-called giant impact hypothesis is favored for its potential ability to explain the primary dynamical and physical attributes of the Earth-Moon system. In turn, the Earth and Moon provide key constraints to planet formation models, both in terms of the specific type of impact believed necessary, and the formation timing and conditions implied by the compositional constraints of these well studied objects. I will discuss some of the recent work modeling lunar origin, and the implications of this for terrestrial accretion and the formation of other observed solar system features.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.