Most people know that the moon's gravitational influence has an effect on the tides on Earth, but some scientists also believe that the presence of the moon played an important role in making Earth habitable to begin with. The interplay between the Earth and the moon mirrors events that occurred throughout the early solar system, as a Mars-sized object may have hit the Earth, sending some of the mantle into orbit that soon cooled into the moon. Over time, the relationship between the Earth and the moon may well have assisted the advent of life.Know More
The flow of the oceanic tides facilitates the movement of heat from the equator north and south to the poles. Without those tides, it is possible that climate changes ranging from ice ages to glacial periods would not be as extreme. As they happened, the glacial phases may have helped speed up migrations of plant and animal species that caused life to spread.
Tidal heat transfer may also have made climatic fluctuations less extreme, so research is still underway to determine what actually took place over lengthy periods of time. If life came into being around hydrothermal vents deep in the oceans, then the role of the tides was likely minor, but if life began in the tidal waters, then the moon's role would have been much more significant.Learn more about Our Moon
The Moon appears luminous because it reflects the light from the Sun, making the side of the Moon that faces the Sun visible from Earth. The amount of this light changes as the bodies revolve in their orbits.Full Answer >
The moon does rotate, and it orbits around the Earth. It completes one full orbit around the Earth every 27.322 days. The moon also takes approximately 27 days to rotate around its own axis.Full Answer >
The moon doesn't produce its own light, but it does reflect enough of the sun's light to cast a glow onto the Earth. The moon reflects so much light that it can even be seen during the day, during certain months.Full Answer >
Moon phases occur because the angle of the Earth, moon and sun changes as the moon orbits the Earth. One-half of the moon is always illuminated by the sun. As a person's angle of sight changes, different portions of sunlight and shadow are observed on the moon's surface.Full Answer >