Life Without the Moon



View of the Moon in space

The moon has made a huge impact on the way people live. It has helped not only shape the evolution of mankind, but has shaped the entire evolution of the planet. Without the moon, life would definitely be different, so what if it just suddenly disappeared? Learning how to adapt to this new lifestyle, would definitely be a challenge.

Rotation of the Earth

Tidal friction is what causes the earth to slow down and make the days longer. Without the moon, the earth would spin three to four times faster than it currently does. This results into days that are just eight to six hours long. There would also be faster winds and stronger storms. With these fast winds, few plants and trees could actually grow. If plants could grow, they would be short, deeply rooted, and ground-hugging. Birds and flying insects would be unable to survive and land animals would all be short, squat, and stout.

Change of Tides

As people may know, the tides are produced by the moon and the sun. Due to the sun being farther away from earth, its tide-producing effect is about a third of the moon. When the sun lines up with a new or full moon, it causes an even larger tide due to the increase in gravity. This is also known as a spring tide. A neap tide is caused during the first and third quarters of the moon. The sun’s gravity pulls in an opposing direction, evening out the moon’s pull, which then creates a lower than normal tide. Thus, without a moon, the tides would become noticeably smaller and there would be no spring or neap tides.

Tilt of the Earth

Earth’s equatorial plane is currently tilted at 23.5 degrees and varies about a degree over the course of hundreds of thousands of years. The moon’s gravitational pull stabilizes the tilt of the earth, which produces more moderate climates and seasons. Without the moon’s gravitational influences, the tilt of Earth’s axial would vary by ten degrees in hundreds of thousands of years instead. Not only would the tilt of the Earth become different, but so would the seasons. Summers are hotter and winters and colder, and when the tilt is less, the seasons are less extreme. Ice ages could be ten times as bad as they have been before. With climate shifts that dramatic, glaciers could possibly cover the entire planet. These dangerous climate changes would have huge consequences for life on Earth.

The moon is a very essential to life on Earth. Without it, there could possibly be no life on Earth. There would even be no lunar eclipses, or a neighboring planet for astronauts to visit. Kraemer student Andrew L. says, “I think the world would be very dark as well. It would be very scary to live on Earth and the population may decrease drastically”.