With about 100 metric tons falling on Earth every day, why is the moon not getting closer instead of moving away?
I assume Earth, being 81 times more massive than the Moon would collect more space debris and dust than the Moon and would get more mass in the long run. Still, the Moon is gradually moving away from the Earth. Why is this?
- 8 months agoFavourite answer
The moon is picking up energy at the expense of the earth's rotation. The coupling method is via tides.
Obviously this more than compensates for the 100 tons of cosmic dust settling on Earth each day.
- Ronald 7Lv 78 months ago
Since the Moons beginning from the collision between the proto planet Theia and the Fledgling Earth estimated 4. 5 Billion years ago
The splashback went into orbit and finally coagulated into the Body known as our Moon
The Moon's orbit has been increasing ever since
Being pushed by the Centrifugal Force between the two bodies
Nowadays, it is Down more to the Altitude of the Moon and Gravitational Braking
The Moon keeps one side towards Earth because its spin has been Tidally Braked till it is now Tidally Locked
The Final Stage will be when the Earth's Spin gets Tidally Locked with the Moon, showing one face to the Moon
When they are both Tidally locked they will be orbiting with their Epicentres outside the surface of either body
To be separated no more
Like Pluto and Charon are
- 8 months ago
Actually... Earth's mass is *lessening* from day to day... we lose more atmospheric mass to space than Earth receives from in-falling material.
And the moon is being boosted by tidal effects... the moon raises tides on Earth. The Earth's rotation carries that 'tidal bulge' *ahead* of the moon, and the moon, in turn, is attracted to that bulge via gravity - which adds orbital energy to the moon, boosting it's orbit.
But, the energy isn't free - it's being robbed from Earth's rotation... as the moon's orbit increases, our day lengthens. So, the moon is moving further away, raising *smaller* tides, and our rotation is slowing down, not carrying the tidal bulge as far ahead, so the rate at which the moon is moving away is slowing down.
- IridflareLv 78 months ago
100tons is about 0.000000000000000001% of the Earth's mass - the effect is insignificant.. fwiw, the Earth loses about 26 metric tons of hydrogen / day.
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- Donut TimLv 78 months ago
The Moon causes ocean tides on Earth to bulge towards it. However, the Earth is rotating faster than the Moon orbits so the tidal bulge swings ahead of the Moons pull. The gravity of this off center bulge pulls the Moon to a higher orbit, and in the process slows the Earth’s rotation a little, making our days longer.
- Anonymous8 months ago
Nothing stays the same. If it did, humans would have never existed. Every thing is moving in space. We can come up with all kinds of fancy theories but ultimately who knows what the great mastermind of the cosmos will reveal to us next and why? Like a preview of a movie, we will never see because we are moving too.
Re silly comment: You have control freak issues. Train your kids, your dog, your cat
or get yourself a mail order bride. It’s my answer and I control this. 😎 kk
- daniel gLv 78 months ago
Do you really think 100 metric tons a day is even significant given earth and moon mass?
It happens the moon is gravitationally locked to the earth, and the moon gradually moving away is centimeters per decade. Barely measurable given the faint elliptical orbit of the moon.
- JonLv 68 months ago
The moon is moving away from the earth because the tidal effect, combined with earth's rotation, is transferring angular momentum, and therefore energy, from the earth to the moon. Compared to the rate of this transfer of energy, the effect of any change in earth's mass is small.
- Anonymous8 months ago
It’s scared of humans.