It is known that the Moon’s center of mass (COM) does not coincide with the geometric center of figure (COF) and the line “COF/COM” is not directed to the center of the Earth, but deviates from it to the South-East. Here, we discuss two mechanisms to explain the deviation of the lunar COM to the East from the mean direction to Earth. The first mechanism considers the secular evolution of the Moon’s orbit, using the effect of the preferred orientation of the satellite with synchronous rotation to the second (empty) orbital focus. It is established that only the scenario with an increase in the orbital eccentricity e leads to the required displacement of the lunar COM to the East. It is important that high-precision calculations confirm an increase e in our era. In order to fully explain the shift of the lunar COM to the East, a second mechanism was developed that takes into account the influence of tidal changes in the shape of the Moon at its gradual removal from the Earth. The second mechanism predicts that the elongation of the lunar figure in the early era was significant. As a result, it was found that the Moon could have been formed in the annular zone at a distance of 3–4 radii of the modern Earth.
Part of the book: Lunar Science