What If the Moon Disappeared?


"Super Blood Wolf Moon" credit cnn.com

By: Isabel D'mello, Journalist

The moon, the white ball of light that shines through the dark night sky. So much human culture and art depends upon it. What would happen if it just disappeared? How would it effect the way the Earth functions?

For one thing the moon is the key to unlocking some of the secrets of the the Earth millions of years ago. It could have possibly played a role on the creation of itself. Also, there are some species of animals that rely on lunar cues for things like reproduction, if the moon vanished then it would cause the population of tons of living things to plummet.

The moon has the biggest influence on the Earth’s tides, without the moon the tides would decline by an estimated 75%, this means that some of the coastal ecosystems would be destroyed causing more organism to die. These aren’t even the worst of the consequences, the absence of tides would change the temperatures and balance of the climate. Places that are warmer or colder would become more extreme and generate problems for the life-forms living there.

The most severe damage that the moon could cause would be the change in the tilt of the Earth’s axis. The moon’s gravitational pull is playing an important role in stabilizing the angle of the axis, without it the axis would wobble. Currently the axis is on a tilt of 23.5 degrees, the loss of the moon means that the tilt would then vary from 10 to 45 degrees. To put this in perspective, a one of two degree difference could have been the reason for the ice-age. The seasons would be a mess and the climate would drastically change. In conclusion, the moon is much more than an illuminated sphere.

This relates to engineering because it shows critical thinking since the effects of not having a moon aren’t something that is super oblivious, you would need to deeply think of all the repercussions and chain reactions that one misplaced celestial object could cause. Also, it would take some serious problem solving skills to fix a catastrophe this big.

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