The moon is our closest companion in the night sky. It’s always been there, lighting up the darkest nights, stabilizing our axis, as well as influencing the tides of our oceans. But what if it just disappeared? What would the ocean levels be like? Would we still have seasons? And could you imagine the sky being dark every night, night after night? So many questions, and we’ve got the answers. Here are some of the craziest changes Earth would experience if there was no moon.
1. We’d Lose a Shield Against Unwanted Space Rocks
The moon is like a small shield that absorbs most of the asteroid and meteor collisions that would otherwise hit Earth. The proof is in its appearance; there are several visible craters which is really all you need to know that the moon does a great job of keeping us safe. Between 2005 and 2013, there were over 300 known impacts on the lunar surface. If it weren’t there, we’d be the ones bombarded with all this space debris. Luckily for us, many meteors burn up in our atmosphere before they can cause serious damage.
2. The Oceans Would Come Down
Another purpose of the moon is that it produces and regulates our ocean tides by pulling the oceans towards it as it rotates around the Earth. This leads to high and low tides during different times of the month. Without the moon, there’d be no tides and the oceans would be so much calmer. It would also be reduced to one-third of its current size. Not to mention that the sea level would be redistributed uniformly across the entire surface of the earth.
3. Earth’s Seasons Would Go “Crazy”
The Earth is currently tilted at a 23.4-degree angle thanks to the moon. The satellite swooped in to save the day by slowing down and stabilizing the Earth’s initial drastic inclination when it collided with another planetary body millions of years ago. So, what if the moon didn’t step in or just gave up on us? Then the seasons wouldn’t be what we’ve come to know them as. The Earth’s axis would be much larger than it is which, would cause the poles to be exposed to the sun, melting the ice caps leading to worldwide floods.
4. How About Much Shorter Days?
As mentioned earlier, the Moon influenced our planet’s tilt, which does more than just create the seasons. It also affects our rotation time of 24 hours or 23 hours and 56 minutes, to be exact. This in turn results in a pleasant climate that allows life to flourish. If the moon never came around, then our days would have been several hours shorter than what we’re used to. Scientists believe that nearly 4.5 million years ago, the Earth spun so quickly that a day only lasted four hours.
5. Forget About Plate Tectonics
Just like the tides, the Earth’s crust would be subject to change. At any given time of the day, the ground beneath our feet rises slightly at 30 centimeters or 12 inches due to the fluid nature of the crust. No moon in the sky would mean that Earth’s primordial crust, which was lost during the interplanetary collision, would still be there. Mountains would be non-existent, just a few scattered volcanoes, because the earth would be one solid piece, with zero tectonic plates.
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