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Waspie_Dwarf

Planetary science: Lunar conspiracies

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Planetary science: Lunar conspiracies

Current theories on the formation of the Moon owe too much to cosmic coincidences, says Robin Canup. She calls for better models and a mission to Venus.

The Moon is more than just a familiar sight in our skies. It dictates conditions on Earth. The Moon is large enough to stabilize our planet's rotation, holding Earth's polar axis steady to within a few degrees. Without it, the current Earth's tilt would vary chaotically by tens of degrees. Such large variations might not preclude life, but would lead to a vastly different climate.

Knowing how the Moon was made is central to understanding Earth and the formation of other planets.

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I saw something on the science channel that said without the moon the plane of earth's rotation could move by as much as 90%. Could this be true? Also since the tidal regions would be much smaller diversification of life might be less which would seem to me to make intelligent life less likely.

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