The hollow Moon hypothesis suggests that the interior of the Moon is hollow. The suggestion of a hollow moon first appeared in science fiction, when H. G. Wells wrote about a hollow moon in his 1901 book The First Men in the Moon.[1][2][3] The concept of hollow planets was not new; Wells borrowed from earlier fictional works that described a hollow Earth, such as the 1741 novel Niels Klim's Underground Travels by Ludvig Holberg.[4] Academic proposals for a hollow Earth pre-dated that. Edmond Halley's hypotheses, advanced in 1692,[5] was the first one to specify an actual void in the Earth.[6]

Early propositionsEdit

  • In 1962, NASA geophysicist Gordon J. F. MacDonald stated, “If the astronomical data are reduced, it is found that the data require that the interior of the Moon be less dense than the outer parts. Indeed, it would seem that the Moon is more like a hollow than a homogeneous sphere.”[7]
  • Physical chemist Harold Urey suggested the presence of negative gravitational anomalies where "there is either matter much less dense than the rest of the Moon, or simply a cavity."[7]
  • MIT’s Sean Solomon wrote, "the Lunar Orbiter experiments vastly improved our knowledge of the moon’s gravitational field... indicating the frightening possibility that the moon might be hollow." [7]

Rang like a bellEdit

Between 1972 and 1977, lunar seismometers were installed on the Moon, by the Apollo missions, to record moonquakes. The Moon was described as "ringing like a bell" during some of those quakes, specifically the shallow ones.[8] This phrase was brought to popular attention in March 1970,[1] in an article in Popular Science.[9] When Apollo 12 deliberately crashed the Ascent Stage of its Lunar Module onto the Moon’s surface, it was claimed that the Moon rang like a bell for an hour, leading to arguments that it must be hollow like a bell.[1] Lunar seismology experiments since then have shown that the lunar body has shallow moonquakes that act differently from quakes on Earth, due to differences in texture, type and density of the planetary strata. However, according to Mainstream science, there is no evidence of any large empty space inside the Lunar body.[8]

Solid interiorEdit

Mainstream scientific opinion on the internal structure of the Moon supports a solid internal structure with a thin crust, an extensive mantle and a small denser core.[10][11]

Cornell University's Ask an Astronomer, run by volunteers in the Astronomy Department,[12] answered the question "Can we prove that the Moon isn't hollow?". Physicist Suniti Karunatillake suggests that there are at least two ways to determine the distribution of mass within a body. One involves moment of inertia parameters, the other involves seismic observations. In the case of the former, Karunatillake points out that the moment of inertia parameters indicate that the core of the moon is both dense and small, with the rest of the moon consisting of material with nearly-constant density. As for the latter, he notes that the moon is the only planetary body besides Earth on which extensive seismic observations have been made. These observations have constrained the thickness of the moon's crust, mantle and core, suggesting it could not be hollow.[13]

Support for a solid lunar interior is based on:
  1. Seismic observations. Besides Earth, the Moon is the only planetary body with a seismic observation network in place. Analysis of lunar seismic data have helped constrain the thickness of the crust (~45 km)[11][14] and mantle, as well as the core radius (~330 km).[10]
  2. Moment of inertia parameters. For the Moon, moment of inertia parameters have demonstrated that the core is ~1.4% of the total mass.[15] One such parameter, the normalized polar moment of inertia, is 0.393 ± 0.001.[15][16] This is very close to the value for a solid object with radially constant density, which would be 0.4 (for comparison, Earth's value is 0.33).[15] The normalized polar moment of inertia for a hollow Moon would have a higher value, closer to 0.67.[17]
  3. Fine-scale variation (e.g. variation along the orbit of the Lunar Prospector orbiter) of the lunar gravitational field, which is consistent with geologic processes involving a crust, mantle, and core.[15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Is the Moon Hollow?". Armagh Planetarium. 22 May 2015. 
  2. ""Spaceship Moon" and Soviet Scientific Politics". 23 September 2012. 
  3. "Hollow Moon". Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute. 2 February 2009. 
  4. Jerome Hamilton Buckley, ed (1975). The Worlds of Victorian Fiction. Harvard University Press. p. 412, n. 27. ISBN 9780674962057. 
  5. "An Account of the cause of the Change of the Variation of the Magnetic Needle; with an Hypothesis of the Structure of the Internal Parts of the Earth". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London III: pp. 470-78, esp. p. 475. 1683–1694. doi:10.1098/rstl.1686.0107. 
  6. N. Kollerstrom (1992). "The Hollow World of Edmond Halley". Journal for the History of Astronomy 23: 185–92. doi:10.1177/002182869202300304. Bibcode1992JHA....23..185K. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 The Secret Influence of the Moon: Alien Origins and Occult Powers (2013), by Louis Proud
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Moonquakes". NASA. 15 March 2006. 
  9. Template:Cite magazine
  10. 10.0 10.1 "NASA Research Team Reveals Moon Has Earth-Like Core". NASA. 6 January 2011. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Mark Wieczorek and 15 coauthors (2006). "The constitution and structure of the lunar interior". Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry 60: 221–364. doi:10.2138/rmg.2006.60.3. Bibcode2006RvMG...60..221W. Archived from the original on 2014-12-21. 
  12. "About the Ask an Astronomer Team". Ask an Astronomer. Cornell University. 14 November 2011. Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. 
  13. "Can we prove that the Moon isn't hollow?". Ask an Astronomer. Cornell University. October 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-04-22. 
  14. A. Khan; K. Mosegaard (2002). "An inquiry into the lunar interior: A nonlinear inversion of the Apollo lunar seismic data". Journal of Geophysical Research 107 (E6): 5036. doi:10.1029/2001JE001658. ISSN 0148-0227. Bibcode2002JGRE..107.5036K. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 AS Konopliv; AB Binder; LL Hood; AB Kucinskas; WL Sjogren; JG Williams (1998). "Improved Gravity Field of the Moon from Lunar Prospector". Science 281 (5382): 1476–80. doi:10.1126/science.281.5382.1476. PMID 9727968. Bibcode1998Sci...281.1476K. 
  16. "Moon Fact Sheet". NASA. 19 April 2016. 
  17. Template:Cite thesis