Luna, lunera … men have looked at her for millennia. Our natural satellite has moved the imagination of countless generations. It still does now. Scientists set out to envision a scenario in which the earth and moon would approach. What if the moon got closer? For example at half the current distance? The result is disastrous.
The main influence that the moon has on the earth is its gravitational effect on the oceans. This creates two high tides and two low tides every day. Neil Comins is a physicist at the University of Maine. Calculate that the moon is approaching the center, the tides would be 8 times higher. That is, islands completely underwater, unlikely coasts to be populated.
The tidal effect also acts on the surface of the planet. “When the moon gets closer, the effect is like hitting a gong with a hammer. The energy waves would echo through the planet due to the force of gravity, ”he emphasized.
Io is one of the 79 moons of Jupiter. It is also one of the most volcanically active celestial bodies we know. It’s due to the force of gravity that the planet and two other moons exert on it. Earth could experience a similar scenario if the moon were halfway close.
The approach would cause the planet’s rotation to slow down. Longer days and nights. It happens that the moon’s gravity pulls on the oceans. And the resulting friction between the sea floor and water slows down the rotation of the planet.
There would be a consolation prize. We were able to observe solar eclipses more frequently. And what would happen if the moon approached slowly instead of suddenly moving? Scientists have an answer to this question too.
Imagine the moon turning slowly towards earth. The planet’s crust and tides would gradually change. Hopefully this would allow life to adapt. The days and nights grew longer. That could change our climate and drive evolutionary change forward in a variety of ways. “
You know what would happen when the moon got closer. A sudden approach to the moon is unlikely for the time being. But there is a chance. Something that would make science fiction a reality. An object that is massive enough would have to pass close to the Earth-Moon system. The moon should be at a certain point in its orbit. This object could draw energy from the satellite and it would spiral towards earth.
But let’s hope that doesn’t happen, of course.