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People Top 5
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PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- June 24, 1991
- Vol. 35
- No. 24
Shoot the Moon? Hell, Says Prof. Alexander Abian, Why Not Just Blow It Up?
The professor claims that blasting the moon would release the gravitational tug that causes our planet to tilt and thus stabilize the earth's temperature and wind patterns. Other professors say poppycock—or worse. David Taylor, assistant chairman of the physics and astronomy department at Northwestern University, asks, "How does he propose to change the earth's angle of rotation without creating massive earthquakes? He would destroy civilization, but we'd have great weather."
There are a few nettlesome questions—like what would happen to the tides, for instance, and whether Abian is actually serious in his proposal or just dabbling in a bit of academic humor—but for the time being he insists that his theory is sound. "I am raising the petulant finger of defiance to the solar organization for the first time in 5 billion years," the professor declares. "Those critics who say 'Dismiss Abian's ideas' are very close to those who dismissed Galileo."
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