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Author Topic: Could we live without the Moon?  (Read 9006 times)

Offline thedoc

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Could we live without the Moon?
« on: 17/07/2012 13:30:02 »
Lujain Alyamani  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hello!

I was just wondering ...could we live without the Moon?  Also what would happen to the Earth if there were no tides affected by the Moon? And if we didnt have a Moon how would this increase global warming?

Thanks!!

Lujain

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 17/07/2012 13:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline yor_on

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #1 on: 18/07/2012 01:58:44 »
Nice question.

I don't know? Think I've seen some discussion on it where the moon was important though?
 

Offline RD

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #2 on: 18/07/2012 02:34:35 »
Got 60 cents* ? ... http://www.amazon.com/What-If-Moon-Didnt-Exist/dp/0060168641

[* plus postage and packing ]

Is the question "if Earth never had a moon ?", or "if the present moon disappeared ?".

Either way the seasons of the year would be less stable over geological time because Earth's axis could tilt to a greater extent without the stabilizing influence of a big moon ...

Quote
The Moon has a stabilizing effect on Earth's obliquity. In the absence of the Moon, the obliquity can change rapidly due to orbital resonances and chaotic behavior of the Solar System, reaching as high as 90 in as little as a few million years.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axial_tilt#Long_term


... what would happen to the Earth if there were no tides affected by the Moon?

There still would be (weak) tidal forces from the Sun.
« Last Edit: 18/07/2012 03:53:46 by RD »
 

Offline lujainthatsme

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #3 on: 18/07/2012 23:57:37 »
Got 60 cents* ? ... newbielink:http://www.amazon.com/What-If-Moon-Didnt-Exist/dp/0060168641 [nonactive]

[* plus postage and packing ]

Is the question "if Earth never had a moon ?", or "if the present moon disappeared ?".

Either way the seasons of the year would be less stable over geological time because Earth's axis could tilt to a greater extent without the stabilizing influence of a big moon ...

Quote
The Moon has a stabilizing effect on Earth's obliquity. In the absence of the Moon, the obliquity can change rapidly due to orbital resonances and chaotic behavior of the Solar System, reaching as high as 90 in as little as a few million years.
newbielink:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axial_tilt#Long_term [nonactive]


... what would happen to the Earth if there were no tides affected by the Moon?

There still would be (weak) tidal forces from the Sun.

Sorry , i should have made my question more specific. No , my question was ; what would happen if the moon suddenly disappeared? And also i meant why do we actually need tides? What would happen to earth if their were no tides? Floods? And well i heard that earths global warming would be affected if we lost our moon , so how does moon affect global warming? Or is it the opposite ; does global warming affect the moon? Thanks!!
 

Offline lujainthatsme

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #4 on: 18/07/2012 23:58:50 »
Nice question.

I don't know? Think I've seen some discussion on it where the moon was important though?

Umm.. could you possibly give me the link , if you still have it?
 

Offline RD

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #5 on: 19/07/2012 02:42:21 »
i heard that earths global warming would be affected if we lost our moon , so how does moon affect global warming?

Oceans are a carbon sink, with a reduction in tides I think their rate of carbon sequestration would be less.

... does global warming affect the moon?
I can't think how the warming of Earth's atmosphere could affect the moon, and the moon cannot have it's own "global warming" because it's atmosphere is negligible
« Last Edit: 19/07/2012 02:45:45 by RD »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #6 on: 19/07/2012 06:54:45 »
The rate of oxygen and CO2 absorption by the ocean is related to the wave action.  However, that is not necessarily dependent on tides.

I have heard the axial tilt argument.  But, with Earth's oversized moon, our axial tilt is actually quite high.  Mercury and Venus have no moons, and less axial tilt (with reverse rotation for Venus).  Mars has smaller moons, and marginally more tilt.  Pluto is of course quite distant from the sun, but also exists in a binary system, and has a very radical axial tilt.  Anyway, with the 8.5 planets, the moon and tilt argument is weak.

I presume that the lunar tides also affect the tectonic activity of the Earth.  Past tectonic activity has stirred up mineral resources vital for the development of civilization.  However, with the current geology in place, perhaps it is no longer necessary for the survival of the planet.  Presumably we would still have subsurface pressure buildup and volcanic activity.  Bigger or smaller?
 

Offline lujainthatsme

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #7 on: 19/07/2012 16:37:18 »
i heard that earths global warming would be affected if we lost our moon , so how does moon affect global warming?

Oceans are a newbielink:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_sink#Oceans [nonactive], with a reduction in tides I think their rate of carbon sequestration would be less.

... does global warming affect the moon?
I can't think how the warming of Earth's atmosphere could affect the moon, and the moon cannot have it's own "global warming" because newbielink:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_the_Moon [nonactive].

Thank you sooo much for answering one of my questions! It really helped!! ;D
 

Offline lujainthatsme

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #8 on: 19/07/2012 16:48:28 »
The rate of oxygen and CO2 absorption by the ocean is related to the wave action.  However, that is not necessarily dependent on tides.

I have heard the axial tilt argument.  But, with Earth's oversized moon, our axial tilt is actually quite high.  Mercury and Venus have no moons, and less axial tilt (with reverse rotation for Venus).  Mars has smaller moons, and marginally more tilt.  Pluto is of course quite distant from the sun, but also exists in a binary system, and has a very radical axial tilt.  Anyway, with the 8.5 planets, the moon and tilt argument is weak.

I presume that the lunar tides also affect the tectonic activity of the Earth.  Past tectonic activity has stirred up mineral resources vital for the development of civilization.  However, with the current geology in place, perhaps it is no longer necessary for the survival of the planet.  Presumably we would still have subsurface pressure buildup and volcanic activity.  Bigger or smaller?

Great!! Thanks so much! So do you think , in your opinion that it would be quite possible to live without the moon?
And what about the moons gravity? Do you think that without the moon , earth would spin faster? Thanks again.
 

Offline RD

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #9 on: 20/07/2012 06:45:41 »
Do you think that without the moon , earth would spin faster?

No. The rate at which Earth's day length is increasing would decrease: a slower slowdown ...

Quote
The Earth's day has increased in length over time. This phenomenon is due to tides raised by the Moon which slow Earth's rotation. Because of the way the second is defined, the mean length of a day is now about 86,400.002 seconds, and is increasing by about 1.7 milliseconds per century (an average over the last 2,700 years ... The length of one day has been estimated as 21.9 hours 620 million years ago
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day#Introduction
 

Offline RD

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #10 on: 20/07/2012 07:03:12 »
I have heard the axial tilt argument.  But, with Earth's oversized moon, our axial tilt is actually quite high.  Mercury and Venus have no moons, and less axial tilt

Venus's tilt has undergone the most extreme change possible: it's poles are the wrong way round.  Earth's moon prevents extreme changes in earth's tilt ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Obliquity_berger_0_to_1000000.png
Models show the obliquity of other planets (without big moons) oscillates with greater amplitude, some chaotically.

It's the stability of the tilt, not it's absolute value, which gives reliable seasons of the year over geological time.

+/- 2o
Quote
 ... the angle between Earth's rotational axis and the normal to the plane of its orbit (obliquity) oscillates between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees on a 41,000-year cycle.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles
« Last Edit: 20/07/2012 07:26:36 by RD »
 

Offline lujainthatsme

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #11 on: 21/07/2012 18:32:07 »
Do you think that without the moon , earth would spin faster?

No. The rate at which Earth's day length is increasing would decrease: a slower slowdown ...

Quote
The Earth's day has increased in length over time. This phenomenon is due to tides raised by the Moon which slow Earth's rotation. Because of the way the second is defined, the mean length of a day is now about 86,400.002 seconds, and is increasing by about 1.7 milliseconds per century (an average over the last 2,700 years ... The length of one day has been estimated as 21.9 hours 620 million years ago
newbielink:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day#Introduction [nonactive]

Thanks so much!! Your answer was really helpful :) 
 

Offline MOON TRUTH

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #12 on: 26/07/2012 02:23:23 »
There wouldn't be any land to live on, if it weren't for the Moon. The Moon has basically created and shaped every inch of land on this Earth. All I am going to say, is that you need to take an image of just about any big crater on the Moon, then flip it over, and using Google Earth, overlay the image over the Earth. Then play it like a jig saw puzzle. Here is an easy one, Get a detailed image of Mare Orientale, remember to flip it, make it 3 times the size they say the Moon is, and see how many times you can fit it into and around South America, use the borders, it helps. This should open your eyes. Remember the Dinosaurs? How about the Marianas Trench? This will open a whole new area of discovery for you, and should answer, just about every question you have ever had about the Earth and the Moon. I promise! Search for my video on youtube called : Common Sense Geologic History of the Earth and Moon
 

Offline MOON TRUTH

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #13 on: 26/07/2012 03:27:43 »
I meant to say that the crater will be 3x the size they say it is on the Moon. Basically, the prints on the Earth, show that the Moon is 3 x larger than we are told. I know! It sounds crazy, try it! I study this every day. I have no reason to make this up. The Moon is right out there people, not far away, well it is probably farther away than we are told. The forensic fingerprints, or Moon prints, prove it, and the weather patterns, double prove it. It has to be magnetism that attracts the Moon to the Earth, and repels it as well. Pole reversal. Opposites attract. It's ancient knowlege
« Last Edit: 26/07/2012 03:39:26 by MOON TRUTH »
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #14 on: 26/07/2012 03:39:42 »
Some astronomers think that the moon formed from a collision between the earth and a Mars-sized planet.

This moved a lot of silicate rocks into orbit, leaving earth with a much thinner silicate crust, which only covers about 30% of Earth's surface (the rest is water).

In this theory, without the formation of the Moon, the Earth's surface and climate would be quite different.

However, if the Moon disappeared now, it would not have an effect on humanity any time soon (apart from making romantics sadder and astronomers happier).
 

Offline bizerl

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #15 on: 26/07/2012 04:31:15 »
The forensic fingerprints, or Moon prints, prove it, and the weather patterns, double prove it.

MOON TRUTH, I think you have to distinguish between having evidence for something, and having proof for it.

A miniature tiger with an enormous backpack who rides a motorcycle goes through my bins each week at work and takes all the contents. I know this because my bins are always emptied. This is evidence (bad evidence at that :)), not proof.

One could argue that nothing could ever really be proven, rather just that the evidence gathered supporting a notion, out weighs the evidence against it.

Anyway, in regards to the moon debate, I'm not knowledgeable enough to make any rash claims, but I would think that something would survive, and adapt to whatever the new system was. I'd also hope that mankind has developed enough problem solving skills to manage with whatever was thrown at it.
 

Offline MOON TRUTH

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #16 on: 26/07/2012 18:04:43 »
I think I should start my own thread  on this subject. I hope I answered your question.
 

Offline JP

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #17 on: 26/07/2012 18:36:06 »
I think I should start my own thread  on this subject.

Mod note:
Moon truth, we've noticed your posts all have to do with proposing to overturn conventional theories about the moon.  Most of this forum is for discussion of more "mainstream" ideas in science.  If you want to discuss a new theory, there is a New Theories section explicitly designed for that purpose.  If you create a new thread, please do so there.
 

Offline RD

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #18 on: 26/07/2012 19:16:24 »
... Get a detailed image of Mare Orientale, remember to flip it, make it 3 times the size they say the Moon is, and see how many times you can fit it into and around South America

Any occasional correlations you have found by playing with scale are explicable as examples of self-similarity ...
Quote
Many objects in the real world, such as coastlines, are statistically self-similar: parts of them show the same statistical properties at many scales.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-similarity

e.g. you could scale one part of Earth so it approximately matched another part of Earth.

[ also see ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal ]


... Remember the Dinosaurs? ...

The distribution of their fossils provide evidence for plate tectonics ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Snider-Pellegrini_Wegener_fossil_map.svg
« Last Edit: 26/07/2012 19:59:09 by RD »
 

Offline acecharly

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #19 on: 29/07/2012 10:21:05 »
Firstly for eclipse lovers this would be a tradgedy but on the other hand many lives lost through sacrificial offerings when this occured could have been saved !!!

If we look at the moon it would appear to have taken many meteor/asteroid hits over its lifetime which could have hit us which would have made a difference to life on earth as we know it to some greater or lesser degree.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #20 on: 29/07/2012 10:53:12 »
If we look at the moon it would appear to have taken many meteor/asteroid hits over its lifetime which could have hit us which would have made a difference to life on earth as we know it to some greater or lesser degree.
Many of the craters that we see in the moon date back billions of years ago, to the period called the "late heavy bombardment".  At least in theory, there is more research suggesting a less catastrophic bombardment period.  Anyway, the Earth undoubtedly was pummelled with large meteorites early in its lifetime, about the time life evolved. 

It is true that those impacts that struck the moon did not strike the Earth.  But, the moon is too small and too far away to offer any substantial protection.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #21 on: 30/07/2012 06:30:36 »
In another topic, it was suggested that the moon may impact the rotation of the core of the planet. 

This may generate heat with a number of consequences.  But, it may also be responsible for the relatively strong magnetic field that the Earth has.  This could help divert the solar wind and cosmic rays.  And thus, help protect us, and our atmosphere from the damaging high energy particles.
 

Offline Boogie

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The earth if there was no moon?
« Reply #22 on: 01/08/2012 23:05:14 »
The earth without a moon.

Did sea creatures evolved to walk on land due to the effect of the tides? I can see where low tides could strand some sea creatures on land, urging a need for them to evolve. Could the tides be responsible for causing this evolutionary process to take place? If this is so, then could it also be possible that land creatures, including humans, would never have evolved if the earth did not have the moon to drive the tides?

Tidal pool creatures, werewolves and lunatics would not exist without the moon. I feel fairly confident about that statement. We can get along just fine without werewolves and lunatics, but what about the tidal pool creatures? How important are they?

Does the moon have ANY influence on tectonic plate movement? Is it at all possible that the gravitational forces of the moon exerted on the earth is what keeps the crust broken up and allow tectonic plate movement to take place? Without the moon, could the earth crust seize up and the plates become stationary? If this is so, the globe would look a lot different if we didn't have the moon.

What would life be like without the moon? If human was able to still evolve without the moon, would we all have night vision? It would be very dark at night without the moon. We would either have to develop much better night time vision, go underground at night, or surely become a favored meal of a creature that could see in the dark. Primitive travel (before fire) at night would not be an option without the moon to light our way. Primitive exploration would have been hindered. Would that make us more advanced or less?

Would our religious beliefs be different if we didn't have the moon? Would our calendar be the same? What else would be different? Would the earth still wobble? 

I'm thinking that we are pretty darn lucky to have the good old moon shining down on us at night. I bet the land and creatures of the earth would be a lot different without it. Unrecognizable, maybe?

If the moon were to instantly disappear today, what ramifications would it bring to humans? To the other creatures? To the earth itself?

I would be interested in hearing your opinions/comments!

Edit : Ok, maybe we would still have lunatics, but they would be called something else!
« Last Edit: 01/08/2012 23:15:41 by Boogie »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: The earth if there was no moon?
« Reply #23 on: 01/08/2012 23:20:10 »
There was a very similar question asked a few days ago.

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=44797.0

Good point that tides might help sculpt the land for an environment favorable to sea creatures.  And, perhaps also encourage some creatures to leave the oceans.
 

Offline Boogie

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #24 on: 02/08/2012 00:02:21 »
Oops! I searched the wrong forum. Thanks for moving my post. It appears some of my questions were not so original after all. Still, it's an interesting topic.
 

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Re: Could we live without the Moon?
« Reply #24 on: 02/08/2012 00:02:21 »

 

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