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Friday, June 28, 2013

Freaky Friday - Our Moon

Last Sunday was known as Supermoon Sunday, because the moon traveled closer to Planet Earth than at any other time this year. It actually aligned with the sun on Sunday morning; coupled with the fact that it was a full moon made it particularly striking.

The next time we will experience a Supermoon will be in August 2014.

The most common scientific theory for how our moon was formed was when an object about the size of Mars slammed into Planet Earth. The impact knocked a chunk of the planet into our orbit, and that chunk became our moon. We now know that the moon is a vital part of Life on our planet, as it helps to maintain our gravitational force. The impact also explains why the moon is around 100 million years younger than Planet Earth.

During the Cold War, the United States considered blowing up the moon with an atomic weapon. The goal was to show our enemies how powerful we were; supposedly if we could blow the moon apart, we had the power to wipe whole countries off the face of the Earth.

What would have happened if we had really blown up the moon?

Scientists tell us we might have also destroyed our own planet. Molten rock would have rained down on our planet, destroying entire cities, creating tsunamis, and even entire countries could have disappeared in fiery balls. It's possible some of the fragments would form into a ring similar to Saturn's and for the rest of the Earth's lifespan, pieces would break out of the orbit and slam into Earth with asteroid-like violence.

Without the moon stopping meteorites from hitting the Earth, we'd also be under constant bombardment from meteor showers.

But perhaps one of the worst effects would be the oceans. They would become completely calm because without the moon's pull, we would have no waves, no low tide and no high tide. And with the ocean water completely still, ocean Life would die out and the water would become stagnant.

And without the moon's pull, the Earth would spin out of control, wobbling around the solar system so erratically that we would no longer have 24-hour daily cycles or seasons of the year. Some areas could remain in summer year-round while others remained in winter; or they could switch erratically as the Earth wobbled.

All of this would have ended our existence on Planet Earth.

So it's a good thing that the idiots who dreamed up the plan to blow up the moon didn't follow through.