Our moon is truly unique. Unlike other moons in the solar system, ours is large enough and close enough to assume the responsibility of holding its mother planet on its axis. Earth wouldn’t be stable without the protection of the moon.
At 250,000 miles away, the moon resides in the perfect spot in relation to Earth, and ensures a harmonious gravitational balance on the planet. But using advanced laser technology, scientists at the Apache Point Oservatory in New Mexico have come to a worrisome conclusion: the moon is moving away from us.
The movement is relatively slow – around 3.5 centimeters per year. But that means that 1.5 billion years from now, the moon could be 25,000 miles farther away from Earth – enough to wipe out every living thing on the planet. Watch video >>
“Without the moon, I would say that the natural behavior of the Earth would be to have an axis that would oscillate completely wildly.” – Professor Jasques Laskar, PhD, Astronomer, Paris Observatory
Some real conditions on Earth that wouldn’t exist without the the moon’s pull? How about the seasons, the ocean tides, our stable climate system, the reliability of the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, and the very ability of life itself to take hold and evolve?
Don’t miss the new episode of Naked Science, Earth Without the Moon, tonight at 10P et/pt!