Role of the Moon

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Role of the Moon

Postby leshiggins » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:57 pm

Why, in the context of "life out there", do we almost never hear a discussion about the crucial role the Moon played in evolution on Earth? After all, without the Moon, there would have been no tides and waves to stir the pot. Maybe there wouldn't even be tectonic activity. (That implies another question). This seems to me to be an important question given what we are discovering about the effects of tidal forces on the Jovian moons etc. (where the planet-moon roles are reversed).
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Re: Role of the Moon

Postby dave.b » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:12 am

I gather we have the moon to thank for our seasons, since our planet doesn't have too much of a wobble in either it's orbit or axis of rotation.

In fact, I also gather that scientist have recently revised downwards the likely hood of there being other intelligent forms of life because our whole existence is the result of a series of low probability circumstances. Like being on a planet with a strong magnetic field to shield it, a large moon to stablise it, at the right distance from its star, with the right chemical element mix, with an extinction event that reset the planets biological balances at the right time... Now all I need is the citations to back that up!
Last edited by dave.b on Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Role of the Moon

Postby uea74 » Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:53 pm

As Dave.b says there are apparently many low factors that have gone into "us". Even the tilt and orbit we have means we have periods of ice age and if you look that is when we have made jumps in evolution.

Have a look for a book called "Rare Earth" by Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee.
There is an electronic pdf version on the web somewhere, maybe Google books, not sure. It is interesting reading about all the factors that may be required and the very low probability that the Milky Way is therefore teaming with life. The numbers do come out low enough that although we may have 100,000,000,000 stars that is only 11 factors with a 1 in 10 chance for each.

So if we need a large moon for tidal effect that could be very low, say 1 in 1,000,000 that only leaves 100,000 possibile planets that need everything else to be just right.

It can be odd at a talk by someone looking into life elsewhere I asked had she identified the other stars our sun formed with, she looked puzzled and asked why she would do so. When I said but they would have a similar basic chemistry as we have and life formed here she looked a little as if "Oh, never thought of that."
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Re: Role of the Moon

Postby david48 » Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:11 pm

Suppose we accept that the formation of a large moon, such as our Luna, is necessary to create the conditions for intelligent life to evolve. And that the chances of such an event happening are almost vanishingly small - to the extent that perhaps, our Earth is the only planet in the Milky Way galaxy with such a big moon.

Nevertheless, the Universe contains billions of galaxies. So even if a big moon occurs at a rate of only one per galaxy, surely the Universe, considered as a whole, must contain many such moons.

And therefore, although each individual galaxy may not be teeming with intelligent life, the Universe as a whole, may be?
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Re: Role of the Moon

Postby dave.b » Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:11 pm

Just read up on the Rare Earth Hypothesis on Wikipedia. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_Earth_hypothesis. It's well worth reading.
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Re: Role of the Moon

Postby Fermer05 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:04 am

Why high tides are formed in temperate zones, and not at the equator?

According to the lunar theory of tides, the Earth's crust at the latitude of London, with a frequency of twice a day, rises and falls with an amplitude of about 20 cm, at the equator the swing of oscillations exceeds half a meter (2.5 times more).
Then why, the highest tides are formed in the temperate zones and not at the equator?
The highest tides on Earth are formed in the Fandi Bay in North America - 18 m, Ungava Bay Quebec - 17m, at the mouth of the Severn River in England - 16 m, in the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel in France - 15 m, in the mouths of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, Penzhinskaya and Gizhiginskaya - 13 m , at the cape Nerpinsky in the Mezensky Bay - 11 m.

To answer this question, we need to name 5 gulfs in the equatorial zone, where the height of the tides exceeds 10 meters, otherwise the lunar theory about tides loses logic.

If to argue logically, at the equator the height of the tide should be 35-40 meters.
If, the Bay of Fundy was on the equator,
The swirling theory of tides explains this inconsistency by the absence of whirlpools at the equator, as well as cyclones and anticyclones.
To form whirlpools, cyclones and anticyclones, the deflecting force of Coriolis is needed. At the equator, the Coriolis force is minimal and in the temperate zones, it is maximal.
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Re: Role of the Moon

Postby Gfamily2 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:00 pm

Fermer05 wrote:Why high tides are formed in temperate zones, and not at the equator?

According to the lunar theory of tides, the Earth's crust at the latitude of London, with a frequency of twice a day, rises and falls with an amplitude of about 20 cm, at the equator the swing of oscillations exceeds half a meter (2.5 times more).
Then why, the highest tides are formed in the temperate zones and not at the equator?
The highest tides on Earth are formed in the Fandi Bay in North America - 18 m, Ungava Bay Quebec - 17m, at the mouth of the Severn River in England - 16 m, in the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel in France - 15 m, in the mouths of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, Penzhinskaya and Gizhiginskaya - 13 m , at the cape Nerpinsky in the Mezensky Bay - 11 m.

To answer this question, we need to name 5 gulfs in the equatorial zone, where the height of the tides exceeds 10 meters, otherwise the lunar theory about tides loses logic.

If to argue logically, at the equator the height of the tide should be 35-40 meters.
If, the Bay of Fundy was on the equator,
The swirling theory of tides explains this inconsistency by the absence of whirlpools at the equator, as well as cyclones and anticyclones.
To form whirlpools, cyclones and anticyclones, the deflecting force of Coriolis is needed. At the equator, the Coriolis force is minimal and in the temperate zones, it is maximal.


The reason for the high tides in those locations is (as I understand it) due to the natural resonance for water flow given the shape and size of the bays.

Is there any evidence for 'whirlpools' in those locations? How big are they? What causes them?
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Re: Role of the Moon

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:15 pm

The role of the Moon is quite simple. It is a great object to practise observational and photographical skills, not to mention image processing. It gives us an object to look at during daylight, without the use of safety filters. It also gives us an object to focus on for planetary photography. It is especially useful to get a nice focus when using a webcam or DSLR with an effective focal length over 5 metres.

It has also been deliberately placed at the right distance to give us solar eclipses.

We astronomers have a lot to thank the Moon for, even those grumpy folk who complain about it obscuring DSOs.
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Role of the Moon

Postby EJsp » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:31 am

If going to the Moon was so skippity-do-dah easy back in the 60s, when they were up there on the moon hitting golf balls around, and driving erratically around in a moon-mobile, then why havent we gone back?
WHY HAVENT WE GONE BACK TO THE MOON?
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Re: Role of the Moon

Postby Aratus » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:03 pm

The aim was to send humans to the moon and return. Having done that, few people saw any need to do any more.
It certainly wasn't an easy thing to do as you suggest. It was a very complicated thing to do, and very dangerous. It was worth that to achieve the goal, but not a way for a sustained exploration of the moon.
One golf ball was hit, and it wasn't part of the program, but a brief bit of fun from one of the astronauts. The lunar rover was never driven 'erratically'.

I suspect that when the Chinese are walking on the moon, and scooping up massive technological benefits from their program, the rest of the world will think about it again.
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