Astronomy

Astronomy Understanding the Moons Influence on Earth



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It is said that the moon derived from the Earth as a result of a singular impact soon after the formation of the Earth. As a result, the evolution of the Earth and the emergence and development of life has been strongly influenced by the Moon’s presence. The following article will explain the key components of how the Moon has indirectly and directly influenced life on Earth. The most obvious manifestation of the Moon’s influence on the Earth are the ocean tides, more so the spring tides. The gravitational pull of the Sun as well as the Moon, combine to give the greatest effect. The rise and fall of the sea levels creates an unique environmental pattern in the Solar System. In a matter of a few hours, life is exposed to air as well immersion in water.

These two very distinct ecological niches are said to be highly crucial in regards to evolution. Scientists say that this is an environment which has organisms experiencing a variety of stress and strains. It is also thought that these changes promote and accelerate migration of organisms from one environment over to another. Therefore it is thought that the Moon’s presence and interaction with the tides many have aided in spreading organisms from the sea to the land and vice versa. The Moon raises tides in what is called the ‘solid body’ of the Earth. In earlier centuries, it is said that when the Moon orbited closer to the Earth than it does now, the tides this created caused displacements in the Earth’s surface of up to a kilometre.

A plethora of scientists state that this coupled with the decaying heat of accretion and radioactive elements, promoted some melting of the Earth. Many scientists also believe that the Earth’s tilt of 23.5% is a relic of the oblique collision which (as mentioned above) produced the Moon. It is also thought that the orbiting Moon down through geological time, has stabilized the axial tilt. Many believe that had this not occurred, major and frequent shifts would have led to drastic changes in the Earth’s climate due to alterations at the poles and the equator. The Earth has a moderate tilt and this promotes a healthy and diverse range of climatic zones without veering from one extreme to the next. ‘The Snowball Earth’ hypothesis has it that the stability of the Earth’s axial tilt which was produced by the Moon, along with the break up of the Pangean super continent in the late Mesozoic, produced very diverse climates. It is thought that this set the base for the rise of mammals which includes man.

The Moon is also said to have made significant contributions to life on Earth by offering us the gifts of workable metal deposits at the surface of the planet. These are said to have come about from the impact as well. Portions of Earth’s silicate mantle are said to have been propelled into Earth’s orbit and then fell into the main body of the Earth. Therefore we now see workable ore deposits. Without the gifts of metal, many scientists believe that our technological civilization would never have developed. The Moon is also said to have enhanced man’s intelligence and curiosity. Surely primitive man must have wondered what the luminous orb above was. They must have noted that is changed phase and brightness every so many days. One can be assured that it promoted thinking about the nature of the skies above as well as the Earth they stood on.

The seasons changed, the sun came, the rain, the cold and the warmth. The earliest astronomers calculated and created their own calendars based on these observations. As time went by, farmers planned their agriculture accordingly. Those who depended on the seas for a livelihood took note of the stars and moon above. The Moon spurred technological development and that’s not debatable. This prompted advances in tracking, electronics, propulsion and even life support. All these things could not have come about without the influence of the Moon. The Moon and the Earth are synonymous. They go hand in hand to give us intelligent life and so much more.

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