For Want of the Moon…


Our nearest neighboring body in the cosmos has a profound effect on us.

It’s helped not only shape our evolution, biologically, but has shaped the entire physical evolution of our planet.


So what would be different?

  • No eclipses. Not just no lunar eclipses, note, but no solar eclipses.
  • Much smaller tides. The sun does contribute to tides on Earth , but the distance, despite its monstrously greater mass, means tides would be about 40% what they are now and would be far less complicated since they would be impacted by only a single body, rather than two has is currently the case.
  • Much darker nights. The reflective power of the moon is significant, and something we tend to take for granted.
  • Shorter days. As in, about seven hours long, as opposed to the current twenty-four. The moon is the guilty party at slowing down the Earth’s rotation, something that continues today – it’s just a very slow, albeit progressive, process.
  • Variable axial tilt. The moon stabilizes the Earth by quite a bit, meaning we have (fairly) regular seasons. Without this, sometimes we’d have no seasons, sometimes extreme seasons. Think A Game of Thrones years-long winters and summers and the like.

Top image via Paul Kinzer of Cambridge University Press.
Bottom diagram via Tim Thompson.

Via Medium.

This entry was posted in Science by Heretic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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