The Moon on the run?

When looking at the Moon, how slowly it travels across the night sky, one could easily forget that we are moving with a staggering speed through space with our Earth and our Moon. Furthermore, there is the rotation of the orbs to each other, which remains hidden from our senses as well. Only the mind knows of these astronomic connections and only for a short period of time (measured by our existence).

The forces operating between the Earth and the Moon are huge. Among other things, they cause a deformation of the large amount of water on Earth and hence the tides. And they have the effect that the Moon gradually moves away from the Earth, each year a little bit more. So is the Moon actually doing a runner? Will there be a time where our companion, with its friendly smile, will be gone? … Not to worry: we are talking about a ridiculous amount of approx. 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) per year. Nobody amongst us, will ever realize the difference in their lifetime. This makes the normalfluctuation of the distance between Earth and Moon, due to its elliptical orbit of the Moon with its zillion kilometers, so much stronger that you can actually completely forget about this small escape attempt of the Moon.

But it is also certain that this moving away will not continue forever. Sometime, this movement will seize, the length of an earth day will have extended considerably and will already be longer than one of our today’s months. If this is better or worse is difficult to judge. At any rate, we can determine, just to reassure you that life should not be possible here on Earth by this point in time and humans will be history – in those far-off times, in billions of years.

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