On clear sky nights, many are happy to admire the beauty of the moon, but despite the grandiose view, it would be a shame to wish it were closer to the earth.
For if the orb were not as far from us as it is, but twice as close, that is, half the distance, it would have chaotic consequences.
Why is the moon important to us?
It would be hard to sum it up in a nutshell, but it’s still worth mentioning in a few sentences why the Moon is important to humanity: culturally, scientifically and geologically.
In the early days, in prehistoric times, the moon was revered as a deity, and had a divine figure – Selene in the Greeks, Luna in the Romans, Hounsu in the Egyptians, Ikshel in the Mayans, etc. – Talented. This celestial body was the first and so far the only extraterrestrial that man entered (July 20, 1969). The geological role of the moon is also important, just think of the tides caused by the force of gravity. The Moon also affects the Earth’s rotation, gradually slowing it down. Of course, let’s not forget its evolutionary importance, because many aquatic primates have landed due to water-level fluctuations changing from the tide.
What if the moon was only half the distance?
The distance between the Moon and Earth ranges from 363,104 kilometers to 405,696 kilometers, which means an average distance of 384,402 kilometers. If this distance is halved, i.e. changed to 192,201 kilometers, it will cause complete chaos on Earth.
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According to Neil Cummins, a physicist at the University of Maine, one of the most defining changes is that there will be not just one tides per day, but two, but the proximity of the moon will make the flood much more aggressive. The tide will be eight times higher than it was before, and as a result, both the islands and coastal settlements will sink. According to Commons, these areas will become uninhabitable and completely depopulated.
Few know, but the moon affects not only the water, but also the earth. This force is less exciting due to the state of the Earth, but it still works to some extent, and the parts of the surface pointing to the Moon move insignificantly in the direction of the celestial body. If the moon were twice as close, Cummins said, a much greater gravitational force would impact the Earth, as if we were hitting a giant bell.
According to Jasmine Scarlett, a volcanologist at Queen Mary University of London, the force of gravity moving the Earth will also affect the Earth’s crust, causing earthquakes and volcanic eruptions one after another.
According to Scarlett, the planet’s rotation, which is slowing mainly due to the moon’s gravity, will show an even greater slowdown. The rotation slows down at a normal distance between the Moon and Earth of 100 milliseconds per 100 years, but according to the scientist, it would have experienced a more severe slowdown at half that distance, causing the days and nights to lengthen.
With the moon obscuring most of the sky, Scarlett said solar eclipses will also be more common, but less visible. However, the scientist also noted that if the moon was only half the distance away, we could say goodbye to the phases of the moon as well. We’ll only see the orb sometimes bigger and sometimes smaller.
Can it come true?
The question rightly arises whether it is possible, in the astrological sense, to halve the distance between the Moon and the Earth. According to Cummins, if a massive asteroid repels the Moon, it might, but even then, it would take the Moon several years to reach its current halfway point. By the way, the celestial body is gradually moving away from us, 3.8 centimeters per year.
The moon is shrinking
NASA experts noticed that the moon is shrinking: we wrote about this in our previous article.
(Images: Getty Images.)
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