Moon Magic

Natalie Taylor, Copy Editor, Writer

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Many may think that the moon is just a rock ball circling the earth, doing nothing to help us, but it is much more than that.

“There’s still a lot about the moon that we don’t know,” NASA’s Paul Spudis said during an interview with Space.com. “It’s a more interesting, complex and subtle world than we had appreciated. [New data] has revolutionized our understanding of how things work there.”

Most people are aware that the moon controls the seasons, but what they don’t know is how. The moon keeps the Earth at a constant angle of 23.5 degrees. Without the moon, the Earth would tilt from the degrees all over the place continuously, thus changing the Earth’s climate that we know today.

“One degree tilt, over hundreds of thousands of years, is what causes the ice ages,” Jason Barnes said during an NPR interview in 2011. “So that one degree tilt makes a big difference these days because earth’s present day climate is sort of on a seesaw.”

When the moon was first formed, it was 14,000 miles away. However, tidal forces have caused the moon to slowly pull away. It is now 234,000 miles away from the Earth, and it moves away about an inch and a half each year.

As the moon and the Earth interact through gravity, and the moon slows down the Earth’s rotation over time, that means that it’s causing the Earth to lose energy as the moon itself gains that energy,” astrophysicist at Princeton University Lucianne Walkowicz said during a Q and A with Scientific American. That gain in the energy causes the moon to orbit further and further away from the Earth.”

Before the Earth had a moon, the Earth completed a full rotation in about 4 to 5 hours. After the moon was created and began revolving around the Earth, the Earth’s complete rotation increased to 24 hours.

“As the Earth’s rotation slows down, our whole planet may start to slowly wobble and this will have a devastating effect on our seasons,” Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock said during an interview with BBC.

The moon plays a prominent role in keeping the Earth the way it is now. If Earth lost the moon, it would literally spiral into chaos.

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Moon Magic