jump to navigation

Day 104: The Moon February 6, 2007

Posted by Admin in Astronomy, Geology.
trackback

lunar_libration_with_phase2.gif

Today we spent more time discussing the influence that our moon exerts over life on Earth and no homework was assigned.  Yesterday’s video covered many ways in which life on Earth is influenced by the moon – from wildlife mating rituals to the egg-laying habits of turtles and even the human female reproductive cycle.  Beyond cycles in nature, the moon influences life in other ways, such as maintaining a pull on the Earth, healping to steady the Earth’s rotational axis.  Without such a steadying force, the Earth would wobble slightly on its axis, causing changes in climate and sensible weather.

The animated graphic above shows all 28 days of the lunar phases.  The apparant wobble of the moon is not a mistake – it is in fact a very real phenomenon in which the Earth-Moon distance changes slightly over time.  But in the big picture, the moon is slowly drifting away from us at a rate of about 1.5 inches per year!  That means that a few million years from now, we may lose our moon all together.  The oceans will no longer have tides and life on Earth as we know it will dramatically change!

Tomororw we’ll shift gears into Geology by discussing the formation and layers of the Earth.

Advertisements

Comments»

1. Will O'Neill - February 20, 2009

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: