Why The Moon is running away

Do you know that our earth did have two moons, but one was very small. it was known as the moon’s sister. it was so small that after a while, earth’s gravity was too much, and it got slammed into earth’s surface. but, this happened in earth’s early life.

Goodbye Moon. Every year, the Moon slips a few centimeters away from us, slowing down our day. Why is the Moon drifting away from us, and how long will it take before the Earth and the Moon are tidally locked to each other?

Forces from afar conspire to put the brakes on our spinning world—ocean tides generated by both the moon and sun’s gravity add 1.7 milliseconds to the length of a day each century, although that figure changes on geologic timescales. The moon is slowly spiraling away from Earth as it drives day-stretching tides, a phenomenon recorded in rocks and fossils that provides clues to the satellite’s origin and ultimate fate. “You’re putting energy into the moon’s orbit and taking it out of the Earth’s spin,” says most astrophysics scientists. ,like Dr James a senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

The moon’s gravity generates tides by pulling hardest on the side of Earth facing it. This attraction causes the planet to bulge, especially in its malleable oceans. (The sun affects tides in the same way, although in comparison due to its great distance they amount to only about a fifth of the lunar influence on our planetary pirouette.) Earth rotates faster than the moon orbits it, so the watery tidal bulge travels ahead of the moon’s relative position. This displaced mass gravitationally tugs the moon forward, imparting energy and giving the satellite an orbital boost, whereas friction along the seafloor curbs Earth’s rotation.

Dr James Williams has studied how fast the moon is corkscrewing away by shining lasers from Earth at prism-shaped reflectors placed on the lunar surface in the late 1960s and early 1970s by U.S. astronauts and unmanned Russian probes. Changes in the beam’s round-trip time reveal the moon’s recession rate—3.8 centimeters per year—which, largely due to the orientation of Earth’s landmasses and its effect on oceanic sloshing, is faster now than in previous epochs, Williams says.

Hints of inconsistent Earthly timekeeping come through natural calendars preserved in fossils. Corals, for example, go through daily and seasonal growing cycles that form bands akin to growth rings in trees; counting them shows how many days passed in a year. In the early Carboniferous period some 350 million years ago an Earth year was around 385 days, ancient corals indicate, meaning not that it took longer for the planet to revolve around the sun, but that a day–night cycle was less than 23 hours long.

Sedimentary rocks such as sandstone also testify to the quicker days of yore. As moon-spawned tides wash over rocks they deposit mineral specks, layer upon layer. In southern Australia, for example, these vertically accumulating tidal “rhythmites” have pegged an Earth day at 21.9 hours some 620 million years ago. This equates to a 400-day year, although other estimates suggest even brisker daily rotations then.

“As you start going further back in time, the records get difficult to interpret,” says K.Lambeck, a geophysicist at the Australian National University in Canberra. Lambeck, who serves as president of the Australian Academy of Science, wrote a book on the subject, The earth’s Variable Rotation ;Geophysical Causes and Consequences,in 1980. “But the records have tended to support a general pattern going back that the number of days in the year increases,” Lambeck says.

These data demonstrate that today’s regular ocean tides also happened deep in the past, says Lambeck, lending support to the prevailing moon formation theory.of a collision between a primordial Earth and a Mars-size body 4.5 billion years ago. If the moon were instead formed elsewhere and later captured by Earth’s gravity, the tides would not have held so steady throughout history, Lambeck says.

Most computer simulations of this explosive lunar genesis suggest that Earth whirled afterward on its axis every six hours, says Jay Melson, an Earth and atmospheric scientist at Purdue University. As the moon has migrated out from an initial tighter orbit of perhaps 25,000 kilometers to the modern average distance of 384,000 kilometers, it has teamed up with the sun to protract Earthly days fourfold.

Early human record-keeping of solar eclipses has also bolstered the case for lengthening the planet’s rotation time. Researchers have extrapolated orbital paths back 32 centuries, demonstrating that if Earth’s rotation rate had not changed, eclipse shadows would have appeared thousands of kilometers from Chinese scribes who etched astronomical observations into animal bones. The math indicates that days now are 0.047 second longer than they were in 1200 B.C.

Arriving at this comparatively recent value required factoring in the changing shape of Earth itself due to the thawing of the last ice age , NASA’s Williams says. As ice in northern latitudes began melting about 13,000 years ago, the ground rose underneath, making Earth rotate faster, rather like a spinning figure skater who pulls her arms above her head. This continuing post-glacial rebound shaves about 0.6 second off a day per century—not enough to trump tidal braking caused by the moon and sun.

Accordingly, over the eons separating ice ages, the length of Earth’s day can waver. Even on a daily basis, as it were, day length is tweaked millionths of a second by shifting mass in the oceans due to windy weather and geo shifts, such as the magnitude 8.8 Chilean earthquake . And global warming is expected to shorten the day by 0.12 millisecond over the next two centuries by heating the oceans and changing the distribution of its mass.

As days dilate overall, “leap seconds” have to be added to official Universal Time, which is based an Earth’s rotation, to keep it in sync with ultraprecise atomic clocks that are far more stable. Twenty-four leap seconds have accrued since 1972; the most recent was tacked on in December 2008.

Those leap seconds will not cease. “The moon will continue to go farther away and Earth will continue to slow down,” Lambeck says, until Earth becomes tidally locked, meaning only one hemisphere of our planet will see the moon in the sky. (The moon is already tidally locked in its revolution around Earth, so we see the same lunar hemisphere at all times.) A single day on Earth could eventually exceed 1,000 hours, but a back-of-the-envelope reckoning has this happening in 50 billion years. By then, the oceans—the main source of tidal friction—will have long since evaporated, and Earth and the moon might be toast, gobbled up tens of billions of years earlier by the ballooning red giant sun.

Should the Earth–moon system survive this cataclysm, upon mutual tidal locking the moon would actually begin spiraling back in toward Earth, and the day-lengthening process would reverse itself. Eventually, Lambeck says, the moon would be gravitationally shattered or might even smash into Earth, which would make for a long day, figuratively speaking, for anyone still around.

We had a good run, us and the Moon. Grab your special edition NASA space tissues because today we’re embarking on a tale of orbital companionship, childhood sweethearts and heartache.

You could say we came from the same part of town. A long time ago the Mars-sized object Theia, collided with the Earth and the Moon was formed out of the debris from the collision.

We grew up together. Counting from the very beginning, this relationship has lasted for 4.5 billion years. We had some good times. Some bad times. Gravitationally linked, arm in arm, inside our solar family sedan traversing the galaxy.

But now, tragedy. The Moon, OUR Moon, is moving on to brighter horizons. We used to be much closer when we were younger and time seemed to fly by much faster. In fact, 620 million years ago, a day was only 21 hours long. Now they’ve dragged out to 24 hours and they’re just getting longer, and the Moon is already at a average distance of 384,400 km. It almost feels too far away.

Today it’s drifting away at 1-2 cm/year. Such heartache! We just thought it seemed like the days were longer, but it’s not just an emotional effect of seeing our longtime friend leaving us, there’s a real physical change happening. Our days are getting 1/500th of a second longer every century.

And no, that’s not a metaphor. The Earth and the Moon pull at each other with their gravity. Their shapes get distorted and the pull of this tidal force creates a bulge. The Earth has a bulge facing towards the Moon, and the Moon has a more significant bulge towards the Earth.

This slowing rotation means energy is lost by the Earth. This energy is transferred to the Moon which is speeding up, and as we’ve talked about in previous episodes the faster something orbits, the further and further it’s becomes from the object it’s orbiting.

Will it ever end? We’re so attached, it seems like it’ll take forever to figure out who’s stuff belongs to who and who gets the dog. Fear not, there is an end in sight. 50 billion years from now, 45 billion years after the Sun has grown weary of our shenanigans and become a red giant, when the days have slowed to be 45 hours long, the Moon will consider itself all moved into its brand new apartment ready to start its new life.

After the moon split from earth 4.5 billion years ago. The moon was running far before the earth pulled it and locked it so only one side of the moon can face earth. .The moon was much nearer Earth, and would have looked much larger–several times the size of the sun. For a long time the moon retained a molten core and the accompanying magnetic fields which left geological marks on our world. When things were almost settled down, there was an era called Late Planetary Bombardment when both Earth and its companion were pelted by impacts that blew planetary debris around, and left some of Earth’s ancient geology on the moon.

Over the eons, erosion has scrubbed away all evidence of that ancient time from the Earth, but some of the chunks that were blasted to the moon were preserved in a frozen, unchanged state. Ultimately these remnants of the Earth’s violent youth would be found by enterprising humans, such as the infamous Genesis rock collected by the Apollo 15 astronauts.

Although our planetary neighbor Mars also technically lies within Sol’s habitable zone, there is reason to speculate that life never could get a foothold there because of its axial tilt. Mars’ axis can wobble from 10 degrees up to the current 25 degrees, and maybe more. This has sometimes leaned one of the poles so sharply that the ice melted, filling the meager atmosphere with water vapor that froze again on the next season. By introducing such extremes to the weather, the planet would potentially go through phases where sheets of ice were laid on the surface for epochs, then melted away when the axis tilt became more favorable. When the Phoenix Lander lands near a Martian ice cap in May, we may get a chance to see evidence of this ice age cycle on the surface. While Earth has had its share of ice-ages, the gravity of the moon has acted as a gyroscope, keeping the Earth’s axis steady at 23.5 degrees and sparing us the wild environmental changes Mars faced. This long-term stability has given life a chance to arise amidst a cycle of regular seasonal changes.

It’s not only water being tugged by the moon’s gravity. Perhaps the moon helps keep Earth’s core and seas warmer than they would otherwise be. Since the moon circles the Earth once a month, and the Earth is spinning a full turn at a much quicker 24 hours, the moon’s gravity is creating drag, hence friction, as it pulls at Earth’s surface. This causes several things to happen: first is a perpetual morphing of the crust–like the amateurish kneading of bread–that contributes a clumpy, broken mess that we call plate tectonics.  

Even Earth’s rotation is slowed by virtue of the Moon’s pull. Without the moon, the Earth might rotate much faster, causing a more turbulent atmosphere, and thus unending gales of life-hostile, skirt-blowing winds. As Luna’s orbit slowly creeps away from the Earth at 1.5 inches per year, her gravimetric drag will eventually slow the Earth’s rotation to match the pace of the moon’s orbit. One day will be 9,600 hours long, and the moon will only be visible from one hemisphere, fixed in the sky. Of course, by then the sun should be in an expanding red-giant phase, slowly engulfing its planets. The sun’s coronal atmosphere could be creating drag against the moon, slowing it toward an eventual breakup as Earth’s gravity tears it apart. The remnants of Luna will fall back to Mother Earth as meteorites, and while it may be a pretty show, it ought to prove bad for property values, and worse for the surf.

The 24-hour clock is locked into our mammalian biology, our technology and our culture. But it hasn’t always been that way.

The length of an Earth day has been increasing slowly throughout most of the Earth’s 4.5-billion-year history, says Dr Rosemary Mardling, mathematical scientist at Monash University , and it all has to do with the Moon.

“The reason is that the Moon is attempting to slow down the spin of the Earth. The Earth was spinning very much faster when the Moon was formed,” says Mardling.

Back when the Moon was formed the length of an Earth day was a very brief two to three hours, and a much closer Moon was orbiting the Earth every five hours.

So how did the Moon slow us down? It has to do with gravitational force and the transfer of angular momentum.”In doing so, the Earth slows down a little bit and the Moon moves away from the Earth,” says Mardling.

We can measure the speed of the Moon’s retreat — reflective panels on the Moon allow for fine calibrations that show that it’s currently moving away one to two centimetres a year.We also know that the spin of the Earth is slowing.

“The spin down rate is very slow,” says Mardling, “It’s about two milliseconds per century. So the Earth’s day is getting longer by a 500th of a second every century” So would the day length during the age of the dinosaurs have been 21 hours?”The dinosaurs were around 100 million years ago, which at the current rate [of day lengthening] adds up to 2000 seconds, which is less than an hour.”

But while the lengthening of the day adds up, “the spin down rate was probably greater in the past,” she adds.

Geological evidence for increasing day length can help us pin this time down more accurately. Tidal records laid down in ancient estuaries can show daily, monthly and seasonal cycles in alternating deposits of sand and silt. They indicate that 620 million years ago the day was 21 hours, says Mardling.

Since the dinosaurs lived during the Mesozoic era, from 250 million years ago to 65 million years ago, day length would have been longer than 21 hours and probably closer to 23 hours.

Earthquakes and day length

Significant earthquakes can also affect the length of the day, but only very slightly.We have increasing number of earthquakes every day there are more than 8000 of them in earth.They do so be changing the Earth’s “moment of inertia” which describes how mass is distributed inside the Earth. The principal of conservation of angular momentum means that a change to the moment of inertia results in a change to the spin rate.

“Imagine the Earth is made of lots of little bricks. You can measure the position of each brick and its position from the rotation axis of the Earth. If you squared that distance, multiplied it by the mass of the brick and then you added it all up over all the bricks, you would get the moment of inertia.If you move the bricks around a little bit you get a different answer, and that’s what can happen during some very large earthquakes.

the future

The Moon and Earth’s celestial dance theoretically will take billions of years to end.

“This process finishes when the length of the day is the same as the length of the (lunar) month,” says Mardling, who once worked this out to be around 45 (current Earth) days.

This means that the Moon will take 45 days to orbit the Earth and the Earth will take 45 days to complete a rotation that currently takes 24 hours.

“At that point the Earth will always show the same face to the Moon, as the Moon already does to us.” and that what the split verses  God was talking about in the quran the moon split to 2 sides one locked to the face of the earth.

This will occur when the Moon has “spun down” the Earth, says Mardling.

“We spun down the Moon a long, long time ago because it is so much less massive than the Earth”.”However”, says Mardling, “it’s such a ridiculously long time away that by then the Sun will have become a red giant.”

Earth’s moon is the fifth-largest moon in the solar system. It is over one quarter the size of Earth in diameter. No other planet has a moon this large in proportion to the size of the planet. The moon aids life on Earth by inducing tides.4 Tides prevent the oceans from stagnating, and they clean shorelines. The moon also provides light at night—it “rules the night” Genesis 16,being far brighter than any other regular nighttime celestial object. No other planet has such a bright moon in its night sky.” The moon has no substantial atmosphere, so its sky remains black even when the sun is up. Without an atmosphere to redistribute thermal energy, the temperature on the moon can exceed 200°F during the day and drop to -280°F at night.The moon rotates slowly, taking 27.3 days to rotate once. This is also exactly how long it takes the moon to orbit Earth.

For this reason, observers on Earth can only ever see one side of the moon. Some people have the impression that the moon does not rotate since we always see the same side. But this isn’t so. If the moon did not rotate (relative to the stars), we would see different sides of it as it orbits around Earth. The fact that the rotation and revolution of the moon have exactly the same period is called tidal locking.5 Such a configuration is very stable. If the moon did not rotate at the same rate it revolved, Earth would induce land-tides on the moon, forcing it eventually to become tidally locked. All large and many small moons in our solar system are tidally locked.

As the moon induces tides on Earth, the planet rotates faster than the moon orbits and the tidal bulges get “ahead” of the moon. They then pull forward on the moon, causing it to gain orbital energy and move away from Earth. The effect is small but measurable—the moon moves away from the Earth by about 1.5 inches every year. The recession effect would have been larger in the past, because if the moon were closer to the earth, the tides would be larger. If we extrapolate this effect into a hypothetical past, we find that the moon would have been touching Earth 1.4 billion years ago.10 So, Earth and the moon cannot be older than that. Yet secular scientists claim that Earth and the moon are over four billion years old. The evidence from the recession of the moon is inconsistent with the secular age estimate. Of course, 6,000 years ago, the moon would have been only 730 feet closer to Earth. So, the lunar recession is not a problem for the biblical timescale.

 Earth is uniquely designed for life, and the moon is uniquely designed to aid life on Earth. Astronomers have now discovered hundreds of planets orbiting other stars, and it is likely that billions more remain undiscovered. Yet, of all the planets in the universe, Earth is where God chose to place the creatures whom He creates and let the natural selection take place and the evolution to be part of the progress or demise of certain species. It is amazing to read in the history books that Mohammed mentioned that one day the nights will be as 2 nights and the day as 2 days before the final day of the lord and that the sun will rise from the west and sunset in the east ,it like he describes the increasing length of the nights and days, and the stopping of the earth and its rotation opposite direction so the sun appears to rise from the west and sets in the east.

For those who think that the smaller moon must hit the larger moon itself I say = This is all unproven computer simulation, and her say, he said, it’s not proven at all
the second smaller part of the moon was most likely to hit earth and if it was struck the moon there will be so many smaller fragments
still circling the moon and the earth, as the moon has lower gravity and no atmosphere would have many smaller moons
all these materials from the deep surface of the moon are from many other meteorites hit so we can see so many deep earth metals on the surface.
A number of explanations have been proposed for the far side’s highlands, including one suggesting that gravitational forces were the culprits rather than an impact from Francis Nimmo at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his colleagues. Nimmo said that for now there is not enough data to say which of the proposals offers the best explanation for this lunar contrast. “As further spacecraft data and, hopefully, lunar samples are obtained, which of these two hypotheses is more nearly correct will become clear,” Nimmo said in a statement.

Thank you for reading.

Steve Ramsey, PhD.

Calgary, Alberta- Canada 

1 Comment

  • Steve Ramsey Steve Ramsey says:

    For those who think that the smaller moon must hit the larger moon itself I say = This is all unproven computer simulation, and her say, he said, its not proven at all
    the second smaller part of the moon was most likely to hit earth and if it was struck the moon there will be so many smaller fragments
    still circling the moon and the earth, as the moon has lower gravity and no atmosphere would have many smaller moons
    all these materials from the deep surface of the moon are from many other meteorites hit so we can see so many deep earth metals on the surface.
    A number of explanations have been proposed for the far side’s highlands, including one suggesting that gravitational forces were the culprits rather than an impact from Francis Nimmo at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his colleagues. Nimmo said that for now there is not enough data to say which of the proposals offers the best explanation for this lunar contrast. “As further spacecraft data and, hopefully, lunar samples are obtained, which of these two hypotheses is more nearly correct will become clear,” Nimmo said in a statement.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.