Space & Science

What will happen if the Moon moves closer to Earth?

Source: Slate.

The best thing about science is the scope of imagination it offers. The Moon is the only permanent satellite that orbits the Earth and the second brightest visible celestial object in Earth’s sky. The gravitational influence of the Moon brings ocean tides and gradual displacement of earth’s surface.

Both the Moon and the Earth are said to be locked in orbit. Recent research says that the moon is escaping the earth. At present, the moon is approximately 238,000 miles away from the Earth, in comparison to when it was formed.

The gravitational connection between the Earth and the Moon is elastic causing a rotational kinetic energy from Earth’s spin, slowing the Earth’s rotation. The loss of this angular momentum, absent from the Earth results in taking the Moon into a higher orbit, thereby lowering its orbital speed around the Earth. Ironically, this is increasing the distance between the Earth and Moon. As a reaction to this the Earth’s spin is slowing down, causing the moon to retreat. This means that in another 140 million years, with the Earth’s slow rotation we will experience a 25 hour day.

A imaginary representation of how it looks if moon comes closer to earth by yeti dynamics.

Now, let’s imagine the reverse incidence, where the Moon changes its trajectory and comes closer to the Earth. Both the Moon and the Sun play a key role in the gravitational pull on the Earth. When the Moon comes closer to the Earth’s orbit, the tide is generated in synergy with the Sun’s energy. Similarly, when the Moon distances itself, the tide weakens. If you assume that the Moon will come closer to the Earth, the gravitational forces on Earth will suffer an immense impact on the oceanic currents, grievously affecting coastal and marine life.

The positive news is that scientists have so far defied the possibility of occurrence of such a phenomenon!

Article by Rochita.

What will happen if the Moon moves closer to Earth?


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