Have you ever thought about the influences the moon has on our planet? Ever wondered how different life would be if the moon wasn’t around? I’m about to show you how impotant the moon is for our planet.
Before I do that, here are some theories of how the moon came into existence in the first place:
1. Some people theorize that about 4.5 billion years ago, the Earth and its moon formed simultaneously from the same cluster of space junk. However, the moon has far less metal content than the Earth, making it hard to explain how they could’ve possibly be made of the same stuff if they’re not same in composition.
2. Another idea is that the spinning motion of the Earth caused matter to catapult out of the Earth’s surface and the matter formed the moon. This theory too is questionable because the Earth would’ve required to spin at a much greater speed for this to occur.
3. Another hypothesisis that a wandering object drifting through space was captured by Earth, hence the moon. But then, we would need to have a much much bigger atmosphere to slow the object down in the first place, let alone make it orbit us.
4. The most popular theory is that another planet the size of Mars crashed into the Earth. Most of the mass of the palnet was added to our planet some 50 million years after formation of our solar system. The crash didn’t lead to a crater being formed instead because Earth was still in its molten state and gobbled the planet inside it. The debri of the impact stayed in orbit around us and gradually drew together to form the moon. The crash also explains the difference in metal contants on the moon and on the Earth. Because the Earth’s larger core attracted the metal to itself, the nonmetal contents became the moon.
What if the moon wasn’t around?
- The average day on Earth would’ve lasted just 6-8 hours. The moon is responsible for decreasing the speed of the earth significantly. It does this by slowing us down by tidal friction. The tides created by the moon creates friction with the ocean floor. This frictional energy is transferred to the moon which creates a tidal bulge. The buldge runs slightly ahead of the moon, dragging the moon behind it. This phenomemon makes the moon accelerate while showing us down in the process.
- About billions of years ago, when life was just forming, the moon was only half the distance from our planet compared it is now. This meant that gravitational pull was 4 times greater, creating much biggertides. Large low tide areas became salty because salt was left on the shores by the bigger tides. The salt helped form advance organisms.
- Organisms living in the shores would find themselves stranded at land as the moon pulled the sea away from it. Life eventually learned to adapt by breathing, otherwise it would suffocate on land. So, if moon wasn’t there, evolution wouldn’t have happened this fast and we wouldn’t be here today.
- Moon also gave us the power of night vision.No, I’m not talking about the type of night vision animals have. Rather, I am talking about the availability of SOME amount of light provided by our reflective friend that helped our ancestors navigate to safety during night time. Without the moon, we would’ve been vulnerable after sunset and our ancestors would’ve found it difficult to survive in a competitive world.
- The tilt of the Earth’s axis is stabilized by the moon. Without it, the earth would have a changing tilt about its axis and seasons would also vary dramatically.
Don’t underestimate the impotance of our natural satelite. It serves much more than just give us beautiful solar eclipses!