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punish3ment

The moon is leaving?

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I read somewhere that the moon is getting further and further away from earth, about 99m a year, is this actually true, and if so, what impact would it leave on the planet for future generations?

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Yes, it's getting further away and the Earth's daylength is slowing. As the Earth is losing spin angular momentum (due to friction with the tides, etc) the angular momentum of the Moon has to increase to compensate because momentum is conserved.

Eventually the process will stop when a day and month become the same length--then the Earth will stop spinning under its own tidal bulges and slowing down so the momentum transfer will cease. At that point the Moon will be visible from only one side of the Earth and tides won't come and go as they do now.

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Posted (edited)

The moon is receding from the earth but at only about 3.8 cm per year. This is as a reult of tidal interactions (another side effect is that earths day is getting very slightly longer).

At a rate of 3.8 cm it will take the moon more than 26,000 years to recede 1km.

Source: NASA Eclipse Page

The sun will die long before the moon escapes.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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Yes, it's getting further away and the Earth's daylength is slowing. As the Earth is losing spin angular momentum (due to friction with the tides, etc) the angular momentum of the Moon has to increase to compensate because momentum is conserved.

only by a fraction of a second.

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only by a fraction of a second.

I've heard that the days lengthen by about 11 microseconds each year and at the time of the Earths creation the days were around 6 hours long?

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Some of the oldest direct evidence for a shorter day comes from paleontology. You can count the number of growth lines between the septa in the shells of cephalopods like nautiloids going back almost to the Silurian to get an idea of how long a month was. Toward the beginning of the Paleozoic 400+ million years ago the day was about three hours shorter and the lunar month was about a third of what it is now.

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Probably it will only impact future generations if

1) we're still around

2) the sun hasn't gone nova before the moon got far enough to cause very noticable effects

Personally, I'm hoping to have moved to OGLE-2005-BLG-390 by then.

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cheers for the info, and its only leaving at 3.4cm per year? The universe would be destroyed before it could do some serious damage to the tides

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The moon's not leaving...it's beibg aducked(dam my poor spelling) by aliens! :alien::D

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