Moon is moving away from Earth and it comes with DEADLY consequences | Tech News

Moon is moving away from Earth and it comes with DEADLY consequences

Shockingly, the Moon is moving away from the Earth at the rate of 3.8 centimeters (1.5 inches) per year. While that might not seem like a lot, it will change the length of a day on Earth!

| Updated on: Oct 20 2022, 12:56 IST
This asteroid is worth $10,000 Quadrillion
1/6 hereas other asteroids are generally made up of ice or rocks, this unique asteroid is made up of nickel, which is one of the building blocks of the solar system. One of the biggest asteroids in our Solar System, the 16 Psyche asteroid is made up of gold, nickel and iron deposits and is supposedly worth more than Earth's economy. The asteroid is worth nearly $10,000 Quadrillion. (NASA)
2/6 The Psyche Mission will also help scientists to study and understand iron cores, a previously unexplored building block of planet formation. The 16 Psyche asteroid mission is a part of NASA's Discovery missions. (Pixabay)
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3/6 The findings of this mission could enable scientists to develop a way of using asteroids as resources. Asteroids could come in handy when building structures in space, such as bases on other planets or even the Moon. Due to their 85 percent metal structure, they could be an excellent source of minerals. It is even said that the raw materials extracted from asteroids could even exceed the metal reserves present on Earth. (NASA)
4/6 The mission has been in the phase known as assembly, test, and launch operations since March 2021. Since the launch window is limited, scientists and engineers have worked round the clock in order to finish the spacecraft's assembly in time. However, due to unexpected software issues, the mission has now been delayed and pushed to 2023. (NASA)
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5/6 NASA said, "Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft's flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on October 11. The mission team needs more time to ensure that the software will function properly in flight." (NASA)
6/6 In order to reach the asteroid, the spacecraft will fly by Mars for a gravity assist in May 2023 and, in early 2026, orbit around asteroid Psyche in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. NASA says that the Psyche mission is expected to launch in both 2023 and 2024, but due to the uncertainties, the exact dates of these potential launch periods are yet to be determined. (NASA)
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The Moon is pushing away from the Earth at a slow but steady pace. What will happen to the Earth once it has gone too far? Find out. (NASA)

The Earth and the Moon have been companions for a long, long time. But that wasn't always the case. According to the giant impact theory, around 4.5 billion years ago, a small planet slammed into the young Earth, resulting in our planet ejecting a lot of debris into orbit around the Earth, which slowly coalesced into the Moon. And amazingly, it turns out that after such a long term companionship, the Moon might not be with the Earth forever either. Yes, the terrifying fact is that the Moon is drifting away from the Earth. And if that happens, life on Earth might collapse entirely. Read on to know why the Moon is drifting away and how that can impact us.

The Moon is drifting away from the Earth at the speed of 3.8 centimeters a year. We first found out about it in 1969 during the NASA Apollo missions when some scientists noticed something strange about the reflective panels installed on the Moon. And thus, it was revealed that the Moon was indeed moving away. Later studies have given us conclusive evidence that this is not a recent phenomenon and has always been the case.

Why the Moon is drifting away from the Earth

The reason the Moon rotates around the Earth is because it has been pulled by our planet's strong gravitational force. But at the same time, the Moon itself pulls the Earth due to its own gravitational field. Because of this pull by the Moon, the tidal waves rise, and the Moon gets a kick-back effect, similar to the recoil of a gun. This is the reason the Moon is drifting away.

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How can this affect the Earth

One of the biggest and most immediate effects of the Moon drifting away from the Earth is that the length of the day will get longer. The Moon, due to its gravitational effect, makes the Earth spin fast. According to a report by The Conversation, 2.45 billion years ago, the length of a day on Earth was just 16.9 hours. As the Moon moves away we will see longer than 24 hours for a day. But this is far from the worst thing that will happen to Earth.

One of the biggest impacts would be on tidal waves. While oceans will still retain some movement due to the gravitational force of the Sun, it will be very weak and minimal. Most of the cold and warm currents of the ocean would cease to exist, resulting in the death of a large number of aquatic species. The coastal region will also change drastically.

The worst impact would be on the seasons of Earth. Our planet leans at an angle of 23.5 degrees because the Moon has locked it into that alignment. It is because of this alignment that the Earth has generally stable seasons and the polar regions are cold. However, if the Moon moves away, the Earth would be a wobbling body, constantly being pushed and pulled by different planets and celestial bodies which would tremendously make the seasons and living conditions inhospitable for life.

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First Published Date: 20 Oct, 12:39 IST