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The Lady of the Night: our Moon

Mesmerzingly pretty,

simply cannot be more beautiful

A sensation of an incomplete night sky draw is present when she’s hiding from us on those nights of “new moon”, and a feeling of overwhelming love is felt when her light embraces us in those extremely bright “full moon” nights.

The lady of the night, our Moon has been the witness of Earth’s life for billions of years from the time it was born. The most expanded explanation about Moon formation is that it took place after a giant impact of an object with Earth, which knocked off materials from Earth into orbit. Researchers concluded that this impact occurred about 95 million years ago. This impact theory is the one which dominates within the scientific community, but several other theories exist as those proposing that Moon was “captured” by Earth, or that our planet “stole” the Moon from planet Venus.

But the Moon, about 384.400 km distant from Earth and approximately 27% the size of our Planet, is far much more than a marvelousness in our night skies, it has plenty of effects on Earth as well. One of the most famous is that it is responsible of the movement of tides since Moon’s gravity pulls Earth waters up and down, causing the so called high and low tides.

An interesting data is that Moon is slowing Earth’s rotation, resulting in an increase in the length of the day in 2.3 milliseconds per century. This effect that Moon has on Earth is known as tidal braking. Furthermore, energy is conserved and that lost by the Earth is gained by the Moon, increasing its distance from our planet in 3.5 centimeters per year.

Moon also has a great impact in some species reproduction since some species of crabs, worms and fish can sense moonlight from different Moon phases, as well as turtles are synched with rising and falling tides in order to lay their eggs in the sand and for time enough as to coincide with the tides that will give their hatchlings the best chances of survival.

 For humans, fishing next to the shore is possible since marine animals move accordingly to the movements of the tides. Furthermore, the Moon is also present in the movement of big waves that surfers love playing with.

However, one of the most important facts is that Moon keeps Earth rotation stabilized. Earth’s axis is tilted about 23.4 degrees and this tilt wobbles in circles, completing a circle every 26.000 years. The wobble movement moves Earth’s axis by just 2.4 degrees. This tilt stabilization is thanks to the Moon, consequently keeping the Earth’s climate stabilized and avoiding extreme climate changes throughout the years, allowing life to flourish.

Definitely, the Moon is the responsible of making life on Earth possible. Always present, and when she finally shows herself in a full and brightly manner, we get hypnotized with the strength of her illuminated embracement, which makes us understand that the 28-day waiting really was worth it, and makes us sense that little feeling of selfishness by wishing her to stay in her visit, full forever.

She, mesmerizingly pretty, simply cannot be more beautiful.

Thank you for reading!


REFERENCES

Space.com. Moon Facts: Fun Information about the Earth’s Moon. https://www.space.com/55-earths-moon-formation-composition-and-orbit.html
Institute of Physics. How does the Moon affect the Earth? https://beta.iop.org/how-does-moon-affect-earth
NASA. Solar System Exploration – Moon. https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/moons/earths-moon/overview/

REFERENCES:

Space.com. Moon Facts: Fun Information about the Earth’s Moon. https://www.space.com/55-earths-moon-formation-composition-and-orbit.html

Institute of Physics. How does the Moon affect the Earth? https://beta.iop.org/how-does-moon-affect-earth

NASA. Solar System Exploration – Moon. https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/moons/earths-moon/overview/