This week's book giveaway is in the General Computing forum. We're giving away four copies of Arduino in Action and have Martin Evans, Joshua Noble, and Jordan Hochenbaum on-line! See this thread for details.
The earth evolves around the sun, and the moon evolves around the earth. If the moon suddently disapears, it will affect the tide greatly and so as the ocean life. More sea related disasters will happen. Some animals will distinct. More importantly, the moon is affecting the body fluids in all lifes on the earth, including human being. Even though the lifes might not be killed without moon, but I believe a lot abnormal will appear for the lifes on earth.
i always thought the earth and the moon both rotated around some point between the two centers of mass... possibly a point inside the earth.
and just to clarify, are we talking about the moon blowing up, or just magically disappearing in the blink of an eye?
if the moon blew up (some kind of large bomb, or a comet/asteroid hitting it), i think (having no evidence or qualifications to think this) the changes would be small... i mean, the mass would be there for a while, just in lots of little chunks. wouldn't it? it take a while for it to spreak out enough for the gravitational pull to dissapate.
whereas, if it simply dissappeard, it would be a major shock to the equilibrium.
Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
[Responding to Paul - I see several others were doing the same]
They revolve around each other, with the earth much more "stationary" than the moon. So if the moon spontaneously vanished without a trace, the earth's orbit would change - maybe enough to significantly affect the climate. There are probably also many species whose lives revolve around tides, tide pools, etc. If tides were to stop (gradually die out, more likely) I don't know how big a ripple effect there'd be.
On the other hand, if the moon "blew up" spectacularly enough to get rid of all or most of its mass, I think our first concern would be massive meteors and tsunamis.
Interestingly, it's believed that the existence and size of the moon was important to the development of life on earth, as it acts to stabilize the earth's akis from wobbling too much, which would otherwise cause serious climactic changes making it much harder for life to evolve. Stuff like this wouldn't affect us for a long time if the moon "vanished", but on an evolutionary timescale, it would be a problem. [ July 21, 2006: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
Yeah, Bebop handled that much more plausibly than Space: 1999 did.
[I wrote that before seeing Henry's comment above, incidentally - I was responding to Bear.]
Re: werewolves - exactly! Werewolves would quickly go extinct, and with their main competitors eliminated, vampires would soon overrun the countryside. Got to watch out for all those ripple effects. [ July 21, 2006: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
The combination moon/earth revolves around the sun, but the center of mass of that system is so close to the center of the earth that it can be counted as the moon revolving around the earth which revolves around the sun for all practical purposes as long as the system remains intact.
Were the moon's influence to disappear, there would be several effects (discounting the bombardment of earth with asteroids which might result from the cause of the moon's disappearance, since that cause is not established and therefore the existence or effect of those impacts cannot be determined or even guessed at). 1) massive tidal upset. The moon causes most tides on earth (there is some influence of the sun but compared to that of the moon this is tiny). In effect most tides would stop, with catastrophic effect on all (sea)life that depends on tides for survival (which is pretty much anything living in coastal waters and on the land facing that coast, plus in some places animals and plants living far inland where tides affect water levels in rivers and lakes as well). 2) this removal of tidal action will have a serious effect on ocean currents, causing more animal and plant life to die out. Due to these changes temperature patterns in the oceans would also change, causing more extinctions at sea and indirectly (through changes in climate caused by changing ocean currents and temperatures) affecting life on land on a massive scale. 3) as already hinted, werewolves would be especially hard hit. 4) the change in orbit of the planet might be severe enough to cause a rapid change in solar input on the planet. Depending on what that exact change would be this could take the form of either increasing or decreasing net solar input (causing either a serious rise or fall in surface and air temperatures, each having their effect on plant and indirectly animal life) and/or causing the seasons to change which also affects those life forms depending on seasonal changes in some way. If the tilt of the earth's axis were to be reduced for example the climate all over the planet would become more stable, the regions closer to the poles becoming locked in eternal winter, those nearer the equator in permanent summer. The reduced total mass of the moon/earth system due to the removal of the moon might also cause the orbit of the earth to move outward from the sun, causing a decrease in solar input and therefore a sharp decline in surface temperatures, where even a small decline could be enough to trigger another ice age (and this one would last not for a few hundred thousand to a few million but for a billion years or more).
So yes, the disappearance of the moon could well herald the end of life on earth, at least life as we know it today in all its variety and virility. And that's without the possible bombardment with a series of dinosaur killers which a cataclysmic destruction of the moon would quite possibly cause, which would mean the end of most life on earth even before the more permanent effects were to settle in.
Joined: Jan 30, 2000
[fred]: always thought the earth and the moon both rotated around some point between the two centers of mass... possibly a point inside the earth.
Yes, the center of mass of the Earth/Moon system is inside the Earth's radius, about 3/4 of the way out from the center or the earth.
[Jeroen]: possible bombardment with a series of dinosaur killers
On a positive note, we can expect that dinosaur casualties this time will be greatly reduced compared to the last such incident.
There are many things in life that seem to revolve around a lunar cycle..
The human menstrual cycle is 28 days long? Coincidence or lunar influence? Would this mean that without the moons effects ALL human women would simultaneously stop menstruating?...
If so - assuming we survive any effects of the exploding moon and any impacts, AND cope with the ensuing lack of tides, loss of biodoversity from tidal environments AND the destabilising radical weather events - we could be effectively given approxiamtely 70 years max. to live as a species since no menstruation = no more babies.....
I the episode of The Tick "Alone Together", that eater-of-worlds guy took a bite out of the moon - things seemed to go on okay then.
But if the moon blows up and shoots fragments toward us, then they will burn during re-entry and then the ash will get in my hair. Gross! Hmmmm .... now I think I know why all those guys out there are shaving their heads ...
Joined: Jan 30, 2000
[Paul]: But if the moon blows up and shoots fragments toward us, then they will burn during re-entry and then the ash will get in my hair. Gross!
Not to worry - I'm sure a tsunami will be along shortly to wash that out for you. Might not make it to me in the mountains, but you there on the coast - you're hosed. [ July 25, 2006: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
Maybe. Be aware that on July 9, 1958, Lituya Bay, Alaska experienced a landslide-generated megastunami that wiped out trees as high as 520 meters above the waterline. I'm thinking a big chunk of moon landing nearby might have a similar effect. How tall is that hill you're on? [ July 25, 2006: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
Jeroen T Wenting
Joined: Apr 21, 2006
Originally posted by Jim Yingst: [Paul]: But if the moon blows up and shoots fragments toward us, then they will burn during re-entry and then the ash will get in my hair. Gross!
Not to worry - I'm sure a tsunami will be along shortly to wash that out for you. Might not make it to me in the mountains, but you there on the coast - you're hosed.
I'm worse of, I live 20ft under sealevel, work 15ft under sealevel, and most my entire commute is below sealevel as well. I'd better invest in a submarine I think, just in case
The Isaac Asimov novel "The Gods Themselves" includes a subterranean society on the moon, complete with a madman who wants to take the moon on a joyride through the solar system (the means become available to him in the form of both a source of infinite energy and a way to get rid of the excess angular momentum). Everything that's been said up until now has concerned what would happen to the Earth if the moon was gone.
But what would happen to the moon if the Earth was gone? I think maybe not so much.