Why is the moon moving away from the earth?

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  • 2 months ago
    Favorite 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.  

  • 2 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 ??

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  • Robert
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    It was a result of an explosion at a nuclear waste dump site on the lunar surface. 

  • Athena
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Planetary physics. 

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  • John
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Tidal effect, period.

  • 2 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. 

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