The moon is a large sphere in the sky that many people for thousands of years have looked at and appreciated, but not many people know its significance to planet earth. The moon has had many names in its time, known as Luna by the Roman empire and Artemis by the Greek empire respectively [nine planets, 2015]. It has been said that moon is greatly worshiped by many religions throughout the world where they believe the phases of the moon is related to human, plant and animal life. In some religions food was even laid out to absorb moonlight which was thought to have powers to cure disease and prolong life [Finey D, 2014].
Scientifically, the moon is the second brightest object in the sky, the first being the Sun, and is 3476 km in diameter. The gravitational pull of this “terrestrial” planet to the earth itself is quite unique, as one of the effects of its gravitational pull it influences the low and high tides of the oceans on earth as the moon and earth have an interesting connection, much like two magnets are attracted to each other. This happens because the earth is always rotating, thus causing the rise and fall of tides. As the moon is always pulling towards the earth and vice versa, the moon pulls at the water. Because water is always moving it is unable to be pulled down by the earth like soil, therefore as the moon is pulling the water, it creates a ‘low’ tide. When the earth rotates, it pulls on different parts of the ocean around the world, creating the fluctuating high and low tides depending on where the moon is predominately located during a specific time period. This in turn explains how the moon affects the tides and the relationship it shares with the earth [Kooley K, 2002].
The Earth and the moon are slowly drifting apart at a rate of 3.8cm a year, and is estimated to continue moving at this rate for the next 50 billion years, the end result would be that the earth would eventually take 47 days to orbit around the earth rather than the current 27.8 days. This would make the months and seasons longer due to the moons orbit taking such a long time to circulate around its axis [Space Facts, 2016]. However, in saying this, because the moon is orbiting at a steadily rate at the moment, the seasons are regularly in sync with both the sun and the moon.
Citation : http://nineplanets.org/luna.html
Citation : http://greatdreams.com/moon/moon_worship.htm
Citation : http://home.hiwaay.net/~krcool/Astro/moon/moontides/
Citation : http://space-facts.com/the-moon/
Written By: Felicity Weir