What would happen if the moon exploded? We would probably get a yellow octopus as our high school teacher! (Assassination classroom fans, I am looking at you!). Though, it is indeed an interesting question. We have all watched sci-fi at least once in our life. Sci-fi is amazing in the sense that it has realistic elements in it.

Crescent Moon
Image by Kaique Rocha on Pexels

Sort of like something that ‘hasn’t happened yet but doesn’t mean that it would or can never happen’. It is not entirely realistic as it has supernatural elements, and a utopian ideology, however, it holds a critique of the real world and the supernatural components are plausible.

Time paradox, virus mutants, and Frankenstein are popular examples. It is interesting to think how the world’s functioning would change if let’s say, one day the moon suddenly explodes with its bits flying around outer space! How would it impact our lives?

Let’s look into exactly that!

1. Why Is the Moon Important?

To understand the consequences of losing a natural satellite, we first need to understand its importance and the role it plays in our life.

1.1. Protected the Atmosphere

The atmosphere is pivotal to any planet for supporting life. It holds the oxygen that we need to breathe, acts as a shield from the earth’s ultraviolet radiations, and keeps the planet warm. However, the atmosphere is something that a planet can easily lose.

If its size is smaller, its gravitational pull might not be strong enough. Or maybe the solar winds could sweep the atmosphere altogether. In Earth’s earlier days, the moon was comparatively closer to the planet whose magnetic field acted as a shield and protected Earth’s atmosphere.

1.2. Supported Life

The gravitational force of the sun and moon on Earth is responsible for creating tides. It is possible that because of this Earth’s tectonic plates got activated which resulted in the cooling down of the Earth’s surface.

It is also possible that tides were the catalyst that supported the earliest forms of life to come to land from water and settle down.

1.3. Gives Us 24-Hour Days

It is hypothesized that the moon was formed after Earth’s collision with a Mars-sized planet. Following the collision, the pieces of rock and dust that were deposited in Earth’s orbit were forced to mesh together by gravity and formed the moon.

It is supposed that before this Earth took only 6-8 hours to complete one rotation on its axis. Moon’s gravity, however, has slowed down the process resulting in 24 hours a day.

1.4. Provides a Stable Climate

Again thanks to the moon’s gravity, Earth’s tilt is in a stable position. Without the moon, the earth would bounce up and down a little as it would rotate. This would lead to aggressive changes in winds and clouds resulting in extreme weather.

It is also thanks to the moon that we have the four seasons we love.

1.5. Determines the Migration Cycle

Moon
Image by Aron Visuals on Pexels

It has been researched and found that migratory birds depend on the lunar cycle and moonlight for their departure to the southern areas of the Sahara.

It has been observed that birds such as the European Nightjars hunt twice as actively on brightly moonlit nights and ten days after the full moon, they synchronize their flight and commence their autumn migration.

Now you know that the moon plays various roles of importance. Life without it would surely be one of inconvenience.

2. What Would Happen if the Moon Exploded?

2.1. Meteorites

If the moon explodes, there would be some smaller and other larger pieces of moon debris. Some of it would float away from Earth while some of it would come towards the Earth as meteorites and crash on its surface.

2.2. Formation of New Moons

Depending on the strength of the explosion, we might have meteorites and if the strength is milder, the debris might form itself into several smaller moons around the Earth.

2.3. Brighter Night Sky

Since the moon casts a lot of light at the night, it disrupts our ability to see farther stars with our naked eye. With smaller moons, the casted light would be small leading to a brighter night sky as there would be a lot more stars visible.

2.4. Smaller Tides

Another consequence if the moon disappeared would be low tides. Since the moon’s gravitational pull is responsible for ocean tides, its extinction would lead to weaker tides.

2.5. Changing In Earth’s Tilt

The moon is responsible for stabilizing the Earth’s tilt. In absence of this, the earth’s tilt which is currently 23.5 degrees might fall to 45 degrees causing extreme weather changes. The temperatures would drop and rise significantly also leading to ice ages as some parts will not get exposed to sunlight at all.

2.6. Change in Earth’s rotation

Moon explosion would lead to a change in Earth’s rotation. The force of the moon slows down Earth’s rotation so that every day gets 2 milliseconds longer every century. Moon explosion would either lead to a disruption in Earth’s rotation or it may not alter the rotation at all causing the Earth to rotate at a constant speed throughout.

That is, we will always have 24 hours a day till eternity.

2.7. No Eclipses

The Sun, the Moon, and the Earth must be lined up in order to experience an eclipse, whether it be solar or lunar. When there is a solar eclipse, the moon passes in front of the Sun, casting a shadow on Earth’s surface and blocking the sun entirely or partially.

In the case of a lunar eclipse, the Earth is what moves in front of the Moon, throwing its shadow over it and darkening its surface. It goes without saying that there wouldn’t be any eclipses if this natural satellite didn’t exist.

 

red moon
Image by Pixabay on Pexels

FAQs

Q1 What Would Happen If Earth had 2 Moons?

If this were to be the case, the events could be tragic as 2 moons would lead to bigger tides submerging major cities like Singapore and New York and also being dangerous to Island nations. The Earth’s rotation would also get slower owing to the additional pull.

Q2 Is There a Chance of the Moon Ever Hitting the Earth?

The moon has its own stable orbit, hence it is unlikely for the abovementioned to occur.

Q3 Is the Moon Going Away from Earth?

Moon is moving away at 1.49 inches from Earth every year. As it happens, its orbital period prolongs consequently slowing down Earth’s rotation.

Hush, so here we are! We have now seen the benefits and necessities of the moon and what could happen if it ceased to exist. The consequences include a change in ocean currents, the earth’s tides, the earth’s rotation, seasons, and so on.

Scientists also say that any planet beyond the solar system needs to have its own natural satellite like the moon to experience Earth-like weather and living conditions. Needless to say, the moon has its role to play.

I hope you had a good time reading this post. If you want to check out more similar posts then look no further than IcyTales.

Take care until I see you next time ^^.

Last Updated on by ritukhare

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