Why is the moon moving away from the earth?
- 2 months agoFavourite answer
That's tidal forces at work...
The moon raises tides on Earth. The Earth's rotation carries that tidal bulge *ahead* of the moon's position, and the moon, in turn, is attracted to that tidal bulge via gravity. This accelerates the moon a tiny bit, boosting it's orbit. Right now, the rate at which it's moving away is about 1 1/3 inches per year. It was greater in the past, and it'll diminish going into the future.
But, that energy isn't free... it's being robbed from Earth's rotational momentum; our day is getting a tiny bit longer as time goes on.
- Ronald 7Lv 72 months ago
The Celestial Dance of Gravity
Since the Moon formed it has continually been moving away from Earth because of its Orbital Velocity
The only thing to slow it down is Tidal Braking from Earth
The Moon does not have water Oceans to create the tides like on Earth
So it continues on its merry way
All be it 3/4 Inch per Anumn
There will come a day, way off in the future though
when Tidal Locking between The Earth and The Moon
Earth's Siderial Spin will have slowed down enough through the extra Tidal Braking
On what, who knows could be a Waterworld
However, it would cease the retreat of the Moon altogether because of the Tidal Balance
Earth's Spin would match the Moon's Orbit and it would be permanently locked in Orbit
Pluto and Charon have the same arrangement and Iaptetus, a moon of Saturn, is also Tidally locked to its Mother Planet
It Orbits in Saturn's dust Ring
Explaining why one side of Iapetus is dark where the other is Milky White
A Yin and Yang of a body
Isn't Space wonderful ??
- RobertLv 62 months ago
It was a result of an explosion at a nuclear waste dump site on the lunar surface.
- AthenaLv 72 months ago
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- JohnLv 62 months ago
Tidal effect, period.
- skeptikLv 72 months ago
Because of the gravitational interaction between the Moon and the Earth.
Since the Earth rotates faster that the Moon orbits, tidal forces are slowing the Earth down, and speeding the Moon up. Because it's speeding up, its orbital distance is increasing.
This will continue until the orbital period of the Moon matches the rotational period of the Earth. At which point the Moon will stop receding. And will then only be visible from one side of the Earth.
- 2 months ago
A small amount of energy it transferred to the moon from the earth pushing it further away which also slows down its rotation around the earth.