AUG 09, 2017 3:49 PM PDT

What is Earth Without Moon?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

The moon is such a familiar fixture in our skies that we often take it for granted. But there's more to the moon than meets the eye. Let's consider what would happen to the Earth if our moon was not there.

For starters, if Earth didn't have a moon, our tides would become tiny - about a third the size that they are now. The moon's gravity is the force behind high tides and neap tides. Without this force, the oceans would be much more still.

And without the force exerted by the moon, there's nothing to slow down Earth's rotation. This would translate into shorter days, which some say would be fixed at 24 hours per day, while other say would decrease to 6 hours per day. In the same vein, Earth's axis would also shift. Without a moon to stabilize the 23.4 degree tilt, Earth could end up changing its tilt by as much as 45 degrees. The effect of this would be a world spinning on its sides - the poles could melt and the equator could freeze.

So next time you look up in the sky, take a moment to appreciate the silver orb and all that it's done for our world!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
SEP 10, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Reprogramming Virus to Build Better Li-ion Batteries
SEP 10, 2020
Reprogramming Virus to Build Better Li-ion Batteries
There's no doubt that the word "virus" is currently on everyone's mind. However, there's a lot mor ...
OCT 07, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Discovery of Phosphine on Venus - What Does It Mean?
OCT 07, 2020
Discovery of Phosphine on Venus - What Does It Mean?
A Nature Astronomy paper in September, titled "Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus", has led t ...
NOV 06, 2020
Space & Astronomy
300 Million Planets in the Milky Way May Be Habitable
NOV 06, 2020
300 Million Planets in the Milky Way May Be Habitable
Researchers have found that there could be at least 300 million habitable worlds in the Milky Way galaxy. This could mea ...
JAN 04, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Did Intelligent Civilizations Roam Our Galaxy 5 Billion Years Ago?
JAN 04, 2021
Did Intelligent Civilizations Roam Our Galaxy 5 Billion Years Ago?
Researchers have found that there were likely many intelligent alien civilizations sprawled across our galaxy billions o ...
MAR 31, 2021
Plants & Animals
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
MAR 31, 2021
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
Beachgoers are certainly not fond of jellyfish in the water, but seeing hundreds of them wash ashore is an interesting a ...
APR 07, 2021
Plants & Animals
Scientists Discover a Crab-Dissolving Parasite
APR 07, 2021
Scientists Discover a Crab-Dissolving Parasite
Parasites abound throughout the natural world. While not all of them cause the host's death, this newly discovered p ...
Loading Comments...