What would happen if the Moon disappeared completely?

What would happen if the Moon disappeared completely?

disappearing moon
— taffpixture / Shutterstock.com

The Moon is critical to the survival of planet Earth. In fact, since their creation, they have never parted ways. Theories have been proposed that the Moon is a part of our early planet. According to some scientists, the Earth and the Moon would be inseparable since they have a powerful bond. The existence of the Moon offers us a balance between light and shadow. Without it, our ecosystem risks being seriously unbalanced.

A disrupted ecosystem

The disappearance of Moon will trigger various disturbances on our planet. The oceans and water points will be the first to be affected. In effect, the Moon controls the height of the tides, that is to say that the tide can increase or decrease according to the lunar phases. Without the Moon, there would be no more high tides. They are even likely to drop by 50% to 75%. The decrease in tides will cause a slowdown in marine circulation, both in marine fauna and flora. The survival of different fish and crustaceans depends on the tide, for example the silvery grunions that, twice a month, from March to August, dive ashore to mate. Ten days later thousands of little grunions are born. This process only occurs when the tide rises.

On the other hand, it will also be difficult for ships and submarines to circulate since the sea will no longer be at its normal level. The tide also plays an important role in the weather. In fact, the tide carries warm water and distributes it around the world. With the absence of tides, temperatures will no longer be stable and therefore can go from cold to hot at any time, favoring the creation of hurricanes and major storms.

earth moon

the night will go on

Without the Moon, the Sun will be the only star that will illuminate our planet. However, you should know that the Moon absorbs 3 to 11% of the Sun’s light to diffuse it on Earth. Therefore, if the Moon disappears, the Earth will be completely dark. This will harm all nocturnal animals as owls and lions are not fit to live in such darkness. Unable to acquire food or defend themselves, some animals will quickly become extinct. On the other hand, rodents will multiply as they are light-sensitive animals.

Apart from the animals, the flora will also be affected, such as the corals located in the Great Barrier Reef. In fact, during a full moon, corals release thousands of eggs and sperm sacs in just a few minutes in order to reproduce. Therefore, the absence of this phenomenon can lead to the mass extinction of corals. In addition, corals are important for the survival of marine animals, providing them with food and shelter.

The seasons will change

The Moon is responsible for seasonal changes on Earth. At the beginning of its creation, the Earth rotated around its axis every 4 hours. But as time went on, that speed dropped by 24 hours. To create the seasons, the Earth must be tilted on an axis of 23.5°. That is to say that during the summer, the hemisphere is slightly tilted towards the Sun, which generates long and hot days, and during the winter it is the other way around.

If the Moon disappears, the climate will be completely reversed as the Earth’s axis will shift between 10° and 45°. Therefore, the weather will change so quickly that we won’t even have time to adapt. Also, the ice age started due to a shift in the Earth’s axis, and that, by only one or two degrees.

earth season

Would the disappearance of the Moon be imminent?

To know if the Moon is about to disappear, you have to go back to its origin. The Moon formed from debris left over from the collision of proto-Earth and Mars-sized bodies. Millions of years ago, the Moon was much closer to Earth. Indeed, it was only 22,500 km from her and today it is 402,336 km. In the beginning, therefore, the Moon was 20 times more visible than today. But the Moon continues to recede by about 3.78 cm per year. This is due to the energy that the tides offer to the Moon.

As the Moon gains energy, it moves further away. According to estimates by the Institute of Planetary Sciences, within 50 billion years the Moon will reach its maximum range. By then, the Moon will take 47 days to complete a lunar orbit, similar to Earth, which will complete its daily rotation in 47 days. However, other theories have also emerged. In fact, tidal effects on the Moon would have the opposite effect. That is, instead of moving away, the Moon approaches the Earth. But even so, it will be torn apart by the planet’s gravity to form a Jupiter-like ring of debris.

earth rings
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