What Would Happen If There Were No Moon?

Eclipses would be a thing of the past.
Marsha Lewis, Contributing Producer

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half moon
Media credits

NASA.gov

(Inside Science TV) -- The moon -- it can appear full, shining like a beacon in the night or just a sliver of a nightlight. Still, it's always there.

But what if we didn't have a moon?

Here's the top five things we would miss without it.

1.       Nights would be much, much darker. The next brightest object in the night sky is Venus. But it still wouldn't be enough to light up the sky. A full moon is nearly two thousand times brighter than Venus is at its brightest.

2.       Without the moon, a day on earth would only last six to twelve hours. There could be more than a thousand days in one year! That's because the Earth's rotation slows down over time thanks to the gravitational force -- or pull of the moon -- and without it, days would go by in a blink.

3.       A moonless earth would also change the size of ocean tides -- making them about one-third as high as they are now. 

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tide diagram
Media credits

Cliparthut.com

4.       Forget about seeing any lunar eclipses -- or any solar eclipses -- without the moon, there would be nothing to block the sun.

5.       Without a moon the tilt of our earth's axis would vary over time. This could create some very wild weather. Right now, thanks to our moon, our axis stays tilted at twenty-three point five degrees. But without the moon the earth might tilt too far over or hardly tilt at all leading to no seasons or even extreme seasons. 

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spinning globe
Media credits

NASA.gov

Without the moon helping to keep the earth on a steady tilt, scientists have even imagined that life on earth may not have evolved the way we know it.

So the next time you look up at the night sky, realize that the moon is making life here on earth shine bright.

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Author Bio & Story Archive

Marsha Lewis is a freelance producer based in California.  She has won 11 National Telly Awards and nine Regional Emmy Awards for her work in local and national syndicated news.

I’ve dedicated my time to reporting and producing stories focused on medical, science and technology. I created a nationally award winning series dedicated to promoting women and their great accomplishments.  Now I’ve taken that expertise outside the traditional TV news format and broadened the viewership to people around the world.