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A science teacher explains: What if there was no moon?

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Since time immemorial, the Moon has inspired humanity, pushed the boundaries of creativity and aspirations, and contributed to the development of knowledge. Inspiring poems and songs that inspire the idea of ​​measuring time, conquering the universe and idolizing beauty and love, and inducting Michael Jackson into the Hall of Fame forever for introducing mankind to the moonwalk. , the moon was a witness to mankind and an integral part of it…the progress of civilization. The moon shining in the night sky gives us peace and comfort.

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However, sturdy neighbors are moved about 1.5 inches apart each year. What if the moon disappears? On the one hand, while this makes sky-gazing a fantastical experience, it also upsets the delicate balance that enables life on Earth. and water plays an important role in maintaining the ecological balance. A world without a moon would surely be darker and more apocalyptic.

The biggest impact of the absence of the moon is felt in the tides. The Moon is the main cause of the Earth’s tides. The cyclical rise and fall of water levels can be attributed to terrestrial organisms. Organisms stranded on shore after the tide receded had to adapt to survive on land, and this may have ultimately led to human evolution.

Without the moon, the tides would shrink to about 33% of their current size. This endangers the lives of many species of crabs, mussels and snails that live in the intertidal zone, leading to disruption of the marine food chain and threatening entire coastal ecosystems. and will lead to a drastic reduction in sea and land populations within decades. Moonless territories could lead to their extinction as nocturnal predators may not be able to hunt in complete darkness.

Tides also play an important role in driving weather patterns on Earth. They help create ocean currents that lead to the mixing of the cold Arctic Ocean with the warm waters of the tropics. The average temperature difference between the hottest and coldest places on Earth would be life-threateningly extreme without the moon and subsequent tides.

Due to the Moon’s orbit and gravity, the Earth is currently tilted 23.5 degrees on its axis. When the Moon disappears, the Earth’s axis wobbles between 10 and 45 degrees of her. This creates extreme weather. The equator is no longer the hottest part of the planet, and the poles are no longer the coldest. Ice caps melt and sea levels rise.

Researchers believe that the Earth’s axis was off-axis by a degree or two in the past, which may have led to ice ages. So there is no doubt that a 10 to 45 degree tilt dramatically changes our conception of the seasons and life.

Also, without a tug from the Moon, the Earth would rotate so rapidly that there would be more than 1,000 days in a year. This leads to further cooling as the sun does not have enough time to warm the earth. The fast-rotating Earth will create winds with extraordinary speed, and hurricanes will become commonplace. There will be four seasons as we know them, the weather will be completely unpredictable, and many parts of the world will become hostile to all kinds of life forms.

However, according to NASA simulations, the Earth’s tilt may eventually stabilize about 10 degrees off-axis due to Jupiter’s gravitational pull. But until this happens, constant shifts in the axis will also lead to constant shaking and shifting of the Earth’s core. To do.

Many organisms struggle to adapt to change even over timescales of billions of years, and as older organisms disappear, some new organisms may evolve.

The Moon also acts as Earth’s bodyguard, protecting it from the heavy bombardment of asteroids. Furthermore, the geologically inactive Moon has not changed since its separation from the Earth, so lunar rocks are testament to the formation of the Earth and the Solar System. Chemical analysis of these rocks can also determine how much water was brought to Earth by asteroids and comets. Losing the Moon is the same as losing a treasure trove of Earth’s history.

The moon is also a ray of renewal and hope. About two to six days after the full moon in November, the Great Barrier Reef’s corals breed in a series of nights, making it one of the most spectacular simultaneous breeding events in the world. The exact cause of this natural sublime burst of life is still a mystery, but many factors are believed to be responsible, including temperature, water chemistry and the moon. Even some land animals, especially the red crab, use lunar cues to migrate from the mountains to the coast during his last quarter of the month, November or December. Without the moon, such a biological spectacle would not occur. Dung beetles also use moonlight to move dung balls into their burrows. Moonlight also helps pollinate some flowers and makes scorpions glow blue. This Moon has many subtle and blatant effects on Earth.

Without the Moon, our entire idea of ​​the universe would change dramatically, slowing our progress as a species. When we look up at the Moon, we admire the “Moon Man” who smiles at us. But we should also worship the role that our closest neighbors have played in our lives. Standing in the shade of the sun during the gave.

No wonder the following couplet best describes the nature and unyielding place of the moon in our lives that has been taken for granted for years.

“The moon is a faithful companion. It is a different version of itself, sometimes weak and feeble, sometimes strong and full of light, the moon understands what it means to be human, uncertain, one, pierced by imperfections. – Tahere Mafi, Shutter Me

(The author is PGT-Physics, Shiv Nadar School, Noida.)

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