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What if the moon disappeared?

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File:Moon nearside LRO.jpg
near side Moon/NASA

From a science mag in Germany, Spektrum,

Would the earth satellite suddenly disappear from the sky, so the consequences would be devastating for the first coastlines of the earth. Because of the lack of attraction of the moon on the oceans, the mountains of water would collapse on the moon and side facing away – they melt and spread new, where they would follow at the end of the much weaker attraction of the sun. In the meantime, however, would realize a gigantic global wave flooding the mainland.

Without the Moon, without significant tidal, there would now be no braking effect of seamounts on the torque of the earth more: Our own rotation speed would increase gradually so strong that a day would go by three times as fast: after eight instead of 24 hours, he would past.

Without the stabilizing influence of the moon on the earth’s axis, our planet would now also like a roundabout just before overturning strongly into a tailspin advised, its axis would regularly waver. Within a few 100,000 years, the inclination of the earth would change dramatically. Inevitably, there would be serious climate changes : different regions of the earth would tilt pol or equatorward and the sun would be more exposed to or shaded. So could the tropics and the equator are a desert of ice from the poles – and this not only once nor particularly gradually.

A disaster, we are told, for people, animals, and plants. Sure thing.

Note: This is the mechanical English translation. The page is in German. Look at the top for Google Translate.

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG

As readers will recall,  a fair chunk of cosmology marketed to the masses informs us that there is nothing special about Earth. The idea is enshrined as the so-called Copernican Principle. It’s not true, of course, but it justifies wildly inflated guesses about habitable exoplanets, which make for popular reading. If we take all the assumptions with a grain of salt, it is good fun.

In reality, the moon is one of those things that is special about Earth. It is in all likelihood biologically dead but because of it, we are not.

See also: Origin of the moon still shrouded in mystery

See the moon rotate

17000 rare NASA moon mission photos released

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5 Replies to “What if the moon disappeared?

  1. 1
    JGuy says:

    Unverified quote – but too funny to ignore:

    “The best possible explanation for the Moon is observational error – the Moon doesn’t exist.” – Irwin Shapiro, Harvard Astrophysicist

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    “A visualization of an asteroid’s path of orbit which nearly collided with the Earth and Moon in 2003” (Note how the moon eventually ‘slingshots’ the asteroid out of orbit from around the earth thus preventing eventual disaster)
    http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/j002e3/j002e3d.gif

    Privileged Planet – Observability Correlation – Gonzalez and Richards – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5424431

    The Privileged Planet – The Correlation Of Habitability and Observability
    “The one place that has observers is the one place that also has perfect solar eclipses.”
    – Guillermo Gonzalez – Astronomer

    Of Gaps, Fine-Tuning and Newton’s Solar System – Cornelius Hunter – July 2011
    Excerpt: The new results indicate that the solar system could become unstable if diminutive Mercury, the inner most planet, enters into a dance with Jupiter, the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest of all. The resulting upheaval could leave several planets in rubble, including our own. Using Newton’s model of gravity, the chances of such a catastrophe were estimated to be greater than 50/50 over the next 5 billion years. But interestingly, accounting for Albert Einstein’s minor adjustments (according to his theory of relativity), reduces the chances to just 1%.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....solar.html

    Milankovitch Cycle Design – Hugh Ross – August 2011
    Excerpt: In all three cases, Waltham proved that the actual Earth/Moon/solar system manifests unusually low Milankovitch levels and frequencies compared to similar alternative systems. ,,, Waltham concluded, “It therefore appears that there has been anthropic selection for slow Milankovitch cycles.” That is, it appears Earth was purposely designed with slow, low-level Milankovitch cycles so as to allow humans to exist and thrive.
    http://www.reasons.org/milankovitch-cycle-design

    Evidence from self-consistent solar system n-body simulations is presented to argue that the Earth- Moon system (EM) plays an important dynamical role in the inner solar system, stabilizing the orbits of Venus and Mercury by suppressing a strong secular resonance of period 8.1 Myr near Venus’s heliocentric distance. The EM thus appears to play a kind of “gravitational keystone” role in the terrestrial precinct, for without it, the orbits of Venus and Mercury become immediately destabilized. … First, we find that EM is performing an essential dynamical role by suppressing or “damping out” a secular resonance driven by the giant planets near the Venusian heliocentric distance. The source of the resonance is a libration of the Jovian longitude of perihelion with the Venusian perihelion longitude.
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1538.....4_2055.pdf

    Astrobiology research is revealing the high specificity and interdependence of the local parameters required for a habitable environment. These two features of the universe make it unlikely that environments significantly different from ours will be as habitable. At the same time, physicists and cosmologists have discovered that a change in a global parameter can have multiple local effects. Therefore, the high specificity and interdependence of local tuning and the multiple effects of global tuning together make it unlikely that our tiny island of habitability is part of an archipelago. Our universe is a small target indeed.
    Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez – P. 625, The Nature of Nature

  3. 3
    JWTruthInLove says:

    The Spektrum article is pure darwinian propaganda.
    @News:

    A disaster, we are told, for people, animals, and plants. Sure thing.

    Imagine the earth would disappear. A disaster for all life on earth. Sure thing.

  4. 4
    Joe says:

    Yes, we need our moon. No moon no us and most likely no life- see also “The Privileged Planet”:

    “There is a final, even more bizarre twist. Because of Moon-induced tides, the Moon is gradually receding from Earth at 3.82 centimeters per year. In ten million years will seem noticeably smaller. At the same time, the Sun’s apparent girth has been swelling by six centimeters per year for ages, as is normal in stellar evolution. These two processes, working together, should end total solar eclipses in about 250 million years, a mere 5 percent of the age of the Earth. This relatively small window of opportunity also happens to coincide with the existence of intelligent life. Put another way, the most habitable place in the Solar System yields the best view of solar eclipses just when observers can best appreciate them.” TPP

  5. 5
    udat says:

    In the video at the link (about the 16:00 mark),we get yet another OOL scenario, with the Moon responsible for making elements of RNAs in that “warm little pond”. Viola!

    http://www.bbc.com/future/stor.....d-the-moon

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