Why is the moon leaving us?

Jun 10, 2014 by Fraser Cain, Universe Today
Earth’s Moon. Credit: James Lennie.

We had a good run, us and the Moon. Grab your special edition NASA space tissues because today we're embarking on a tale of orbital companionship, childhood sweethearts and heartache.

You could say we came from the same part of town. A long time ago the Mars-sized object Theia, collided with the Earth and the Moon was formed out of the debris from the collision.

We grew up together. Counting from the very beginning, this relationship has lasted for 4.5 billion years. We had some good times. Some bad times. Gravitationally linked, arm in arm, inside our solar family sedan traversing the galaxy.

[SNARK:We even still like to go "exploring" the Moon's "surface" once in a while]

But now, tragedy. The Moon, OUR Moon, is moving on to brighter horizons. We used to be much closer when we were younger and time seemed to fly by much faster. In fact, 620 million years ago, a day was only 21 hours long. Now they've dragged out to 24 hours and they're just getting longer, and the Moon is already at a average distance of 384,400 km. It almost feels too far away.

If we think back far enough to when we were kids, there was a time when a day was just 2 – 3 hours long, and the Moon was much closer. It seemed like we did everything together back then. But just like people, massive hunks of rock and materials flying through space change, and their relationships change as well.

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Goodbye Moon. Every year, the Moon slips a few centimeters away from us, slowing down our day. Why is the Moon drifting away from us, and how long will it take before the Earth and the Moon are tidally locked to each other?

Our therapist told us it wasn't a good idea to get caught up on minutiae, but we've done some sciencing using the retroreflector experiments placed by Apollo astronauts, and it looks as though the Moon has always had one foot out the door.

Today it's drifting away at 1-2 cm/year. Such heartache! We just thought it seemed like the days were longer, but it's not just an emotional effect of seeing our longtime friend leaving us, there's a real physical change happening. Our days are getting 1/500th of a second longer every century.

I can't help but blame myself. If only we knew why. Did the Moon find someone new? Someone more attractive? Was it that trollop Venus, the hottest planet in the whole solar system? It's really just a natural progression. It's nature. It's gravity and tidal forces.

And no, that's not a metaphor. The Earth and the Moon pull at each other with their gravity. Their shapes get distorted and the pull of this tidal force creates a bulge. The Earth has a bulge facing towards the Moon, and the Moon has a more significant bulge towards the Earth.

[SNARK:We're pointing our bulges at each other.]

These bulges act like handles for gravity, which slows down their rotation. The process allowed the Earth's gravity to slow the Moon to a stop billions of years ago. The Moon is still working on the Earth to change its ways, but it'll be a long time before we become tidally locked to the Moon.

A series of photos combined to show the rise of the July 22, 2013 ‘super’ full moon over the Rocky Mountains, shot near Vail, Colorado, at 10,000ft above sea level in the White River National Forest. Moon images are approximately 200 seconds apart. Credit: Cory Schmitz

[SNARK:We're not giving up our motorcycle or our unsavory friends any time soon..]

This slowing rotation means energy is lost by the Earth. This energy is transferred to the Moon which is speeding up, and as we've talked about in previous episodes the faster something orbits, the further and further it's becomes from the object it's orbiting.

Will it ever end? We're so attached, it seems like it'll take forever to figure out who's stuff belongs to who and who gets the dog. Fear not, there is an end in sight. 50 billion years from now, 45 billion years after the Sun has grown weary of our shenanigans and become a red giant, when the days have slowed to be 45 hours long, the Moon will consider itself all moved into its brand new apartment ready to start its new life.

What about the neighbors down the street? How are the other orbital relationships faring. I know there's a lot of poly--amory taking place out there in the Solar System. We're not the only ones with Moons tidally locked. There's Phobos and Deimos to Mars, many of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn are, and Pluto and Charon are even tidally locked to each other, forever. Now's that's real commitment. So, in the end. The lesson here is people and planets change. The Moon just needs its space, but it still wants to be friends.

What do you think? If you were writing a space opera about the Earth and the Moon break-up, what was it that finally came between them? Tell us in the comments below.

Explore further: How many moons does Venus have?

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User comments : 87

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Anda
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2014
Poetry... so 45bn years after being eated by the sun, the moon will part ways...
What did you smoke to write this?
daqman
3.2 / 5 (13) Jun 10, 2014
This was an incredibly annoying article. The writing style almost completely covered any science content. Does phys.org want to be a serious science site or a joke?
Teper
Jun 10, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
lbc_sublime
5 / 5 (7) Jun 10, 2014
Wow some people don't have a sense of humor.
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (9) Jun 10, 2014
There's Phobos and Deimos to Mars, many of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn are, and Pluto and Charon are even tidally locked to each other, forever. Now's that's real commitment.


Isn't Phobos supposed to crash eventually on Mars (or break up) a mere 40-50 million years from now? Hardly an eternal commitment there.

If the Sun would expand to the diameter of Earth path, it's density will be close to the density of nebulae inside of interstellar space.


With that phase lasting a good billion years that should slow Earth down quite a bit (i.e. make it drop towards the center of the red giant). The drag effect will increase the further it gets in.
(A quick calc would suggest that the Moon should move closer to the Earth in that time, as it will experience more drag, since drag is proprtional to v squared and there are times when the Moon is moving more prograde to the sun than Earth is - which outweighs the retrograde motion at other times)
william_vogeler
1.3 / 5 (12) Jun 10, 2014
There are other explanations for lunar recession. In my book, "An Amateur Astronomer's Guide to Gravity," I explain how gravity is losing its pull due to the expansion of the universe. The book is available at Amazon.com.
Matthew_Johnson
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 10, 2014
This was an incredibly annoying article. The writing style almost completely covered any science content. Does phys.org want to be a serious science site or a joke?


I agree. I was interested in the content, but found the content EXTREMELY annoying.
TopherTO
4.3 / 5 (8) Jun 10, 2014
This was an incredibly annoying article. The writing style almost completely covered any science content. Does phys.org want to be a serious science site or a joke?


Lighten up, what's wrong with having a little fun with science? Most of the articles on here are interesting, but dry, informative. What's wrong with some tongue in cheek? Crack a smile, worry about things that matter instead of whining on message boards.
steven_torrey
3.6 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2014
Yeah the article was annoying--like it was written by a high school senior suffering from the 'cutes'. Be that as it may. It has taken the moon 4.3 billion years to be where it is--let us hope it's trajectory of time continues simultaneous with earth's trajectory of time. After all, soon enough the sun--a G2V star will expand engulfing planet Earth and its moon, so the moon won't really matter a whole bunch. Also the moon provides a stabilizing factor to planet earth. Because of the impact, planet earth is tilted 23.5 degrees on its access--hence,the seasons and hence a temperate climate--not one half extremely hot and the other half extremely cold. The moon also prevents an undue wobble to the planet. If planet earth were to lose it's moon, what impact would it have on planet earth? Greater wobble? More unpredictable seasonal weather fluctuations? Questions the author should have addressed...
Dichotomy
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2014
Just chiming in that I also found the article to be annoying. Given this site and its intended audience, I'd prefer the editors keep it professional.
Deo vindice
1.8 / 5 (13) Jun 10, 2014
"God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also." Gen. 1

...not billions of years ago...wobble wobble...fliberdy gibit...poor Tom runs amuck....

E pluribus unum
ILOVEMYEGGBUDDY
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 10, 2014
The author "MOONED" us with some high school senior "Tongue-in-CHEEK, CRACK-a-smile" Cuteness.
plejarenrrite
1 / 5 (12) Jun 10, 2014
I think it's great that we try so hard to understand how the universe and all that is in it works.

However, why not take the cue from the human visitors from the Plejares star system, that have given so much valuable information to Eduard Albert Meier over the last 72 years.

If our scientists would just admit that this mans story is the most important story never told, things like true origins of our moon being stolen from Uranus and left as our satellite from the Destroyer, a wandering planet sized comet, thousands of years ago, and so, so much more.
gradivus42
5 / 5 (4) Jun 10, 2014
Hello! That's a very nice clickbait headline you've got going on there!

Would anyone mind answering a few questions?

Is the author saying the moon will reach a stable orbit, much farther away in 45 billion years?
Or is he saying the moon will break free of the Earth's gravitational pull in 45 billion years?
How is that supposed to happen if the Sun will, in all likelihood, destroy both the Earth and Moon in 5 billion years?

I suppose a good article makes you question things, but I didn't expect to be questioning the point of the article, even if it was amusing.
tuxedowilly
5 / 5 (3) Jun 10, 2014
Why is the moon leaving us? Everyone knows that long distance relationships never last.
ttreker
5 / 5 (6) Jun 10, 2014
Humor is not the problem, overdoing it is, and especially at the expense of an absolute over abundance of wordiness-- a wordiness which drowns the content and borders the article on unreadable. In addition, the author is not very well versed in physics. Objects in orbit don't speed up the farther from earth they are, they slow down. Not only was this mistake of rudimentary physics made by the author, but it was made with feigned authority. The physics addressed by this mistake was central to the primary topic of the article, and so leaves the veracity of the entire content of the article in question. What other facts presented were pulled out of the blue? If all this weren't bad enough, the attempt at humor carried an air of condescension towards the audience. This is a pretty bad thing for a writer to do.

The author should consider college-level courses in writing technique and first year physics. Phys.org should consider another author.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (12) Jun 10, 2014
I think it's great that we try so hard to understand how the universe and all that is in it works.

However, why not take the cue from the human visitors from the Plejares star system, that have given so much valuable information to Eduard Albert Meier over the last 72 years.

If our scientists would just admit that this mans story is the most important story never told, things like true origins of our moon being stolen from Uranus and left as our satellite from the Destroyer, a wandering planet sized comet, thousands of years ago, and so, so much more.


Face ---> Palm: Is the only response I could muster.
astroavion
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 10, 2014
I think once the Sun swells to a red giant, (to just short of Earth's orbit), the Sun's massive gravity will be such that the Moon will be flung out of it's orbit long before it's increasing orbital velocity does. So about 5 billion years.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (11) Jun 10, 2014
I think once the Sun swells to a red giant, (to just short of Earth's orbit), the Sun's massive gravity will be such that the Moon will be flung out of it's orbit long before it's increasing orbital velocity does. So about 5 billion years.


Face ----> Palm
nostradaimus
1 / 5 (10) Jun 10, 2014
The Moon is leaving but not for long. Read Kindle 'The Sphinx Code' and get startled.
Uncle Ira
3.7 / 5 (9) Jun 10, 2014
There are other explanations for lunar recession. In my book, "An Amateur Astronomer's Guide to Gravity," I explain how gravity is losing its pull due to the expansion of the universe. The book is available at Amazon.com.


Hooeeei, you better watch your self Skippy, you going to make the Reg-Skippy mad with on that. He got the the gravity book about expanding something too him.
Uncle Ira
3.7 / 5 (10) Jun 10, 2014
I think once the Sun swells to a red giant, (to just short of Earth's orbit), the Sun's massive gravity will be such that the Moon will be flung out of it's orbit long before it's increasing orbital velocity does. So about 5 billion years.


Now I ain't the scientist Skippy, so maybe I am wrong but I think what I'm getting from the google-Skippys is that the gravity from the sun will no change when he gets bigger, you got to add stuff to make the gravity go more. Maybe that is wrong but that is what I think the Wiki-Skippy on the google thing is telling me.

Do any of you other more smart Skippys know if ol Ira is reading it right?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) Jun 10, 2014
Weeeell...if you want to be picky then if the sun expands the pull towards the center gets weaker (total gravity stays the same, though). The pull gets weaker because you have to take the integral over all paths from the Earth to the sun between individual mass points. When the sun is small all those paths are fairly parallel and add up (almost) linearly, but if the sun expands there are some paths which go more off to the side which have a lesser effect as concerning pull to the center (and if the sun expands beyond Earth orbit there are paths that go in the opposite direction which would contribute a net negative force). Earth orbit should therefore shift outward during the red giant phase.

But since the path of the moon is dependent on the gravity of Earth and not of the sun - even if the sun expands to a wispy cloud of Earth orbit diameter- that's pretty irrelevant. Earth will lose its volatiles which will lessen its gravity a bit, but not overly much.
Uncle Ira
3.3 / 5 (7) Jun 10, 2014
@ antialias-Skippy, that means I did read it wrong and misunderstood what I read wrong? I am not sure I understand what you just wrote but you are usually right so I will try to read it over again find out what I was not getting right. Anyway, thanks for trying to help me.
Quantum Flux
1 / 5 (4) Jun 10, 2014
I am skeptical about the slowing down rotation of the moon causing it to move further away. A more feasible hypothesis would hinge on the elusive dark energy. If the expansion of space is proportional to distance causing the furthest galaxies to move the fastest away from us then an object as close as the moon would move away 1-2cm a year. Hmm, the same dark energy used to explain the expanding space between galaxies might be the cause. That is unless we believe the slowing down rotation of galaxies causes space to expand(dark energy) across the universe? Not likely. I'm just guessing here.
cgm
5 / 5 (3) Jun 10, 2014
Does phy org have an editor? Is 45 billion and 50 billion years correct?

I suspect this off by an order of magnitude - which matters.

And like others, this writing is annoying. Not that I object to combinng science and humor; it just wasn't very good humor.
rusty169
1 / 5 (1) Jun 10, 2014
I am a ten year old girl who loves Science. I liked your video a lot, although I did have to talk to my mom for a while to get out of a panicked mode about not having the moon. I need my sleep! So, you asked what could have caused the "issue" between the Earth and the Moon? Well, if we are being creative, then I think it is because its feelings were hurt that there are so many more songs about the sun and daytime than the moon and night. Also, everyone associates the moon and nighttime with scary things rather than peaceful things. I think the moon feels jilted.
Floyd_Howard_Jr_
5 / 5 (1) Jun 10, 2014
I have it on unimpeachable authority it wasn't Thea it was Theodore!
antigoracle
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 10, 2014
This story is nothing to howl about.
TechnoCreed
not rated yet Jun 10, 2014
this writing is annoying. Not that I object to combinng science and humor; it just wasn't very good humor.
Technically this is not an article but a word for word transcript of the stand-up presentation from the video.
gregcollins82
5 / 5 (2) Jun 10, 2014
Uncle IRA don't feel bad physics gets pretty complex I was at meeting where a Rocket scientist that had worked for Nasa told the whole room that when he dropped a ping pong ball from a 4 ft. structure that gravity affected the acceleration according the the inverse square rule that astronomers and rocket scientists use to calculate trajectory and orbits etc. rather than it's effect on earths surface which is roughly 9.8 meters per second squared.

The earth and moon are about 93 million miles from the suns center when the sun expands and we are 50, 20, or 1 million miles from the suns surface the earth/moon system will still be 93 million miles from the center all else being equal, the sun will lose mass however and the earth/moon system will move further out.
gregcollins82
not rated yet Jun 10, 2014
This corollary is simply brilliant, I really enjoyed it.
chrisn566
not rated yet Jun 10, 2014
Well,i guess to be scientific,you have to be a stuffed shirt,according to most folks here. And people wonder why brainy folks are stereotyped as no humor geeks/nerds. Sheldon lives,only without the "Bazinga"
Uncle Ira
3 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2014
the sun will lose mass however and the earth/moon system will move further out.


Hey Greg-Skippy, thanks for you. I understood that yes, and that is what ol Ira was trying to say me. I've been on the email with another science-smart-Skippy and after the back and forth he finally fingured out what I WAS TRYING TO SAY even if what I was saying was wrong.

I tell you Greg-Skippy, you should have seen the emails where he telling that it's like a balloon, you can put him on the scale and weigh him, and then blow him up real big, he don't gain no weight from getting bigger no, he gain only weight from the air you blow in him. So I was right if I said it wrong me. Just because the Sun gets bigger him, the gravity don't get stronger unless you also add in more weight stuff to raise up the gravity. If is just the same ol Sun stuff that he started with the gravity at the Earth here stay the same if the big Sun is still smaller than the Earth trip around, here I need to P.S. you,,
Uncle Ira
3 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2014
@ Greg-Skippy P.S. because I was running out of letters.

So anyhooo, where was Ira at, I don't want to start over from the beginning,,,, Okayee, as long as the Sun don't get some extra stuff to make the mass for more gravity, but he still grows bigger and weights the same, the gravity don't rise and suck the Earth into it. Beause all the gravity mass is still under where the Earth is circling around.

Hooeei, Greg-Skippy, I'm just reading over all that and now I got me confused and I'm not sure about. But ol Ira did understand what you wrote and I appreciate it podna. I'll give you the good karma points in case I caused you to read something stupid. I'm not so good with the science words, but I am not stupid, unless you believe Really-Skippy when he says it. You are new here so you don't know about him yet, nobody else believes him so if you end up believing him you should pretend like you don't until peoples get to know you.

Merci again podna.
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (2) Jun 11, 2014
Do any of you other more smart Skippys know if ol Ira is reading it right?

I think you're correct – the force is proportional to the masses. The sun shines because it's converting mass to energy so there will be less mass in 5 billion years (not counting what may be added from comets, asteroids, etc.). The force is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the masses, and AA pointed out that the calculation gets tricky when the sun expands – some mass will be off to the left, some off to the right, some above, some below, and even a fraction of it expanded out past earth pulling the other way. When you break down the vectors into their components, the left/right components cancel as do the up/down—the leftover components pulling towards the center of the sun are diminished by an amount based on how much left/right/up/down there is at the location of each vector.
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (2) Jun 11, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator

We haz modz? Awesome, can you please enable more bbcode? Maybe at least [b]bold[/b] & [i]italics[/i] so people don't have to use all caps to highlight a point? Image tags for thumbnails to display equations would be way too awesome. We'll behave. Please?
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2014
@Mods - um, maybe a button to see a deleted post if we choose? No one likes censorship, It's fine to enforce the TOS and netiquette--the button helps with transparency.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Jun 11, 2014
rather than it's effect on earths surface which is roughly 9.8 meters per second squared.

Yeah. Even at the Earth's surface that isn't constant (Bizarre story: I almost once flunked a physics test because I used the g-value for Florida...having had recently moved from Florida back to Germany. I had some very weird explaining to do that time.)
a_n_k_u_r
3 / 5 (2) Jun 11, 2014
I bet that Moon is not happy with us humans causing global warming. That's why it is leaving us.
ahsan67
2.3 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2014
Most ridiculous and meaningless article I ever saw. Nor there was any humor just a waste of time and change of mood to bad.
Uncle Ira
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 11, 2014
Most ridiculous and meaningless article I ever saw. Nor there was any humor just a waste of time and change of mood to bad.


Zephir-Skippy, you changing your clothes too much Neg, I have the big trouble keeping up. What you don't like the Teper-Skippy you was yesterday Cher?
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (2) Jun 11, 2014
Earth will lose its volatiles which will lessen its gravity a bit, but not overly much.

The fate of the earth as the sun expands is an interesting question, still being debated. Apparently the oceans will be vaporized as the sun begins to expand, and they'll be gone long before it expands out to the earth's current orbit after only a billion years from now. In 5-7 billion years as the sun expands fully, the sun will lose almost a third of its mass as it sheds outer layers with the solar wind. As the sun loses mass the earth will move farther out but not far enough to avoid being enveloped (any planet with current orbital radius less than 1.15 AU won't make it). The new habitable zone will be around 50 AU and icy bodies in the Kuiper belt will be liquid. As for the earth, apparently collisions with particles in the sun will degrade the orbit and cause the earth to spiral inward. So too for the moon. (The '1.15 AU' estimate is from http://arxiv.org/abs/0801.4031 ).
tadchem
4.6 / 5 (5) Jun 11, 2014
"This energy is transferred to the Moon which is speeding up, and as we've talked about in previous episodes the faster something orbits, the further and further it's becomes from the object it's orbiting."
This is exactly wrong.
The energy is being dissipated within the earth as frictional heating from the tides.
The moon is slowing down, yet angular momentum must be conserved, so it is moving farther out where it can maintain an orbit with a LOWER speed.
The moon's orbital velocity (at about 400,000 km altitude) is about 1.03 ± .05 km/sec, compared to a geostationary orbit (at about 42.000 km altitude) of about 3.1 km/sec.
Eventually the earth's spin will slow until it becomes locked with the moon's orbit (1 sidereal day = 1 sidereal month), the tidal friction will stop, and the moon will stop receding from the earth.
eric_in_chicago
1 / 5 (2) Jun 11, 2014
Can anyone recommend options positions on green chesse?
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (2) Jun 11, 2014
@Uncle Ira -- of course the smartest Skippys, the physicists, use Einstein's general relativity to determine the curvature of spacetime to see how a planet moves as a star expands. To understand that you have to know about tensors. To understand tensors you have to know about vectors. For those you need to know the basic maths and physics. I figured you got the basics pretty well from your comment.
Uncle Ira
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 11, 2014
@Uncle Ira -- of course the smartest Skippys, the physicists, use Einstein's general relativity to determine the curvature of spacetime to see how a planet moves as a star expands. To understand that you have to know about tensors. To understand tensors you have to know about vectors. For those you need to know the basic maths and physics. I figured you got the basics pretty well from your comment.


Yeah I know the limitations about my math. I am not ashamed to not know it as much as the real scientist-Skippys who went to the science schools to learn all of it. I just like coming onto the thing I didn't know before and if I still don't understand all of it, I like knowing the little part I sometimes do understand. Sometimes, I get to understand one little thing and then because of that understand something tomorrow that I didn't understand last week. The only thing that really bothers me is not being able to say the things I understand with the right words for it.

Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (2) Jun 11, 2014
"This energy is transferred to the Moon which is speeding up, and as we've talked about in previous episodes the faster something orbits, the further and further it's becomes from the object it's orbiting."
This is exactly wrong.

Good catch tadchem. The speed of the moon is decreased. See Tidal acceleration
Protoplasmix
3 / 5 (2) Jun 11, 2014
Can anyone recommend options positions on green chesse?

The moon expired back in 2002, don't eat it. See http://apod.nasa....401.html
TechnoCreed
1 / 5 (1) Jun 11, 2014
Can anyone recommend options positions on green chesse?
The moon expired back in 2002, don't eat it. See http://apod.nasa....401.html
It would seem to me that it is still possible to fructify those options on the first of april of any given years and so would it be for EU.
Whydening Gyre
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2014
Apparently the oceans will be vaporized as the sun begins to expand, and they'll be gone long before it expands out to the earth's current orbit after only a billion years from now.

I'd say evaporation of all water on this planet would be a SUBSTANTIAL loss of mass. Not to mention all the OTHER stuff that will be "evaporated" along with it as the Earth gets heated up.
Whydening Gyre
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2014
Can anyone recommend options positions on green chesse?


Urban Dictionary
Chesse is the attitude one has the moment before one engages in uncontrollable behavior.

Which would be one result of eating green cheese...
Richard_Smith
1 / 5 (4) Jun 11, 2014
I think some of you have your math off a bit, and fail to see the overall big picture. In 2-3 billion years max the Andromeda Galaxy and Milky Way Galaxy will be crashing into each other at a near right angle, and at ballistic speeds throwing all their collective stars (that aren't smashed into each other in the process) and associated solar systems into space while the two black holes at the center of each merge, and begin to collect those stars back up.

Sounds like a completely spectacular and frightening moment for mankind huh? Sorry we'll all be dead and gone, 600-750Mill years from now, all life of any kind on Earth will likely have been sterilized by overpowering CME's UV Bursts, and constant Proton bombardment caused by angry solar winds which would be physically closer, hotter, and more Geo-effective at that point.

BTW for those of you making the math estimates. Sol is generally considered to be nearly 1/2 way through it's 10-13Bill lifespan
Richard_Smith
1 / 5 (2) Jun 11, 2014
Apparently the oceans will be vaporized as the sun begins to expand, and they'll be gone long before it expands out to the earth's current orbit after only a billion years from now.

I'd say evaporation of all water on this planet would be a SUBSTANTIAL loss of mass. Not to mention all the OTHER stuff that will be "evaporated" along with it as the Earth gets heated up.

Actually those masses would only be transformed into another mass (gaseous state or new elemental state), It may even be transformed into a form of energy, but even energy has mass, so no
Uncle Ira
1 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2014
@ Richard-Skippy, you sound like the guy in the article. Is that you Cher? I'm still checking with the google so I don't know if the stuffs you are saying are right so I'll have to get back with on you on that. Something about it doesn't sound right but I don't know what to call it yet.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2014
@richard_smith

From wiki: "While the Andromeda Galaxy contains about 1 trillion (10E12) stars and the Milky Way contains about 300 billion (3×10E11), the chance of even two stars colliding is negligible because of the huge distances between the stars."

Recommend you do some reading here: http://en.wikiped...ollision

Our solar system being ejected from the combined galaxies doesn't represent a real problem either.
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2014
Sounds like a completely spectacular and frightening moment for mankind huh?

Nah. A simple Tschebycheff analysis indicates that the chances of us being still around at that time is terrifically low. (And if we are we certainly will by then have left Earth to a degree that we'll not live on planets or have the ability to evade)...2-3 billion years is a VERY long time.

But sterilization by CMEs or local GRBs only works if we keep sitting here and twiddling our thumbs (i.e. not bothering to get ourselves hardened in any way or being able to predict at some point where they will happen...which doesn't seem all that hard, even now)
Uncle Ira
3.9 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2014
In 2-3 billion years max the Andromeda Galaxy and Milky Way Galaxy will be crashing into each other at a near right angle, and at ballistic speeds throwing all their collective stars (that aren't smashed into each other in the process)


That was the one thing you got a little bit I thought and I checked it me. The Niel Tyson-Skippy say that the stars won't do a lot of bumping together because there is mostly nothing between them. I think he is saying that the Andromedia and the Milky Way will pass through each other. But I tell you truth when I say that is sort of hard for me to see so maybe he wrong on that one. He is supposed to be really smart with this stuff though.

Sol is generally considered to be nearly 1/2 way through it's 10-13Bill lifespan[/q ]

That is the another one you got wrong. What he said made more sense to me. That 10-13 is for the mainline Sun. It will still be here for trillions of years and forever with most of the planets called the white dwarf.
Uncle Ira
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 11, 2014
Recommend you do some reading here: http://en.wikiped...ollision

Our solar system being ejected from the combined galaxies doesn't represent a real problem either.


@ Rockwolf-Skippy, that is what I did. Not the Wiki-Skippy but the Neil-Tyson-Skippy web place. I was writing while you were writing faster. Did I get that right?

P.S. When I look it got messed up, my thing is the bottom thing where it looks his thing.
Whydening Gyre
4 / 5 (2) Jun 11, 2014
I'd say evaporation of all water on this planet would be a SUBSTANTIAL loss of mass. Not to mention all the OTHER stuff that will be "evaporated" along with it as the Earth gets heated up.

Actually those masses would only be transformed into another mass (gaseous state or new elemental state), It may even be transformed into a form of energy, but even energy has mass, so no

Well... as it evaporates and becomes gaseous or even - dare I say it - plasma, it's more loosely distributed "mass" becomes more readily subject to manipulation by many other forces - "solar wind" being just one. Gravity of other "local" bodies would also have a major effect.
So - yes..
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2014
I'd say evaporation of all water on this planet would be a SUBSTANTIAL loss of mass

Consider that the oceans are, on average a bit more than 4km.
Compare that to the 13000km diameter of the Earth - and don't forget that stuff gets rather dense when you go a bit down. Liquid water at the Earth's surface is fluff by comparison.

If you take all water in the oceans off Earth then that amounts to a whooping 0.023% in weight loss. If you add all the water locked in ice and throw in the atmosphere for good measure (and any other volatiles) you might bring that up to 0.025% - but that's about as good as it gets.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (5) Jun 11, 2014
Recommend you do some reading here: http://en.wikiped...ollision

Our solar system being ejected from the combined galaxies doesn't represent a real problem either.


@ Rockwolf-Skippy, that is what I did. Not the Wiki-Skippy but the Neil-Tyson-Skippy web place. I was writing while you were writing faster. Did I get that right?

P.S. When I look it got messed up, my thing is the bottom thing where it looks his thing.


Tyson should be just as good I believe.

His contribution to science cannot be understated. Not that he's in the same realm as Einstein but his efforts to popularize science are almost just as valuable.
Uncle Ira
3 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2014
Tyson should be just as good I believe.

His contribution to science cannot be understated. Not that he's in the same realm as Einstein but his efforts to popularize science are almost just as valuable.


I can understand him that's why I check with his web place first sometimes. Captain-Skippy recommended me to read the books by Sean-Carroll-Skippy, I really did try, but his book about time arrows and the universe got me a headache and sore fingers going to the dictionary. I could not understand almost all of it. Maybe you got to build up to that stuffs.

Oh yeah I almost forgot, Captain-Skippy and an unpleasant-Skippy were talking here about the Carroll-Skippy and I saw it and wrote him the email with a question. We traded about four or maybe three emails until he figured I was really asking the question. He is a nice man if you ever have that kind of question he might maybe answer you. I quit bugging him because I thought he lot bigger things to work on other than me.
supamark23
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2014
The Moon is leaving us because the Moon is a Harsh Mistress. ;)
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (3) Jun 12, 2014
@ira

I also like Scientific American. I'm not formally trained in science my background is manufacturing and design. I found a keen interest in science in my twenties and started reading like crazy. It's hard at first learning the terms etc. but after referring to physics dictionaries over and over as you say, it starts getting easier to be sure. The Sci Am articles are longer and more in depth than phys.org and some are written by leading physicists like Lawrence Krauss whereas many articles in Nature etc. read like Greek to me.

I can't read Greek.

Have you read Brian Green, Hawking, Einstein? All good and approachable.
Captain Stumpy
3.2 / 5 (5) Jun 12, 2014
I'm not formally trained in science my background is manufacturing and design
@rockwolf
science is like the lean manufacturing and ISO9000 of reality... I bet you have talents that would be well appreciated in science, I KNOW that you likely have talents that are good for investigations.
what kind of manufacturing and design? (I've worked with aircraft parts manufacturing in the past...)
@Ira
@Rockwolf
I would also suggest Isaac Asimov as much of his science writing is still very relevant. I also recommend AAAS and Science mag. If you view stuff on-line you can keep windows open with reference material in the background. You can also go to college sites and take on-line courses or "audit" courses (a lot of times you can audit for free, depending)

Brian Green is pretty good too! I have some of his books... there are also the "How to talk " series (sometimes called instant egghead books)
Richard_Smith
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2014
Wow some people don't have a sense of humor.

I know right? This was a variation of an "Electric Orange" or "Psychedelic Apple" piece. I totally got it, but it seems some others didn't.
Richard_Smith
2 / 5 (2) Jun 12, 2014
@richard_smith

From wiki: "While the Andromeda Galaxy contains about 1 trillion (10E12) stars and the Milky Way contains about 300 billion (3×10E11), the chance of even two stars colliding is negligible because of the huge distances between the stars."

Recommend you do some reading here: http://en.wikiped...ollision

Our solar system being ejected from the combined galaxies doesn't represent a real problem either.

There was just a paper released last month or so about it. I'll see if I can dig up the link for you out of my history. The point is the story was a tongue and cheek science fluff piece meant as humor and It seems like 3 people have got it so far.
Richard_Smith
1 / 5 (2) Jun 12, 2014
Well... as it evaporates and becomes gaseous or even - dare I say it - plasma, it's more loosely distributed "mass" becomes more readily subject to manipulation by many other forces - "solar wind" being just one. Gravity of other "local" bodies would also have a major effect.
So - yes..

Yes that makes sense, but I was thinking if it was heated hot enough it might even be converted to carbons and gravity would take over pulling it back down. but if it was so hot the oceans boiled until they became a charged plasma enveloping the Earth, then at that point the Sun would probably have it's Corona brushing the Earth. And by that point hypothetically Mercury, and Venus may have already been incinerated, so planetary gravitational forces (orbits) will have changed too to compensate. Hmmm
Whydening Gyre
4.7 / 5 (3) Jun 12, 2014
Consider that the oceans are, on average a bit more than 4km.
Compare that to the 13000km diameter of the Earth - and don't forget that stuff gets rather dense when you go a bit down. Liquid water at the Earth's surface is fluff by comparison.

If you take all water in the oceans off Earth then that amounts to a whooping 0.023% in weight loss. If you add all the water locked in ice and throw in the atmosphere for good measure (and any other volatiles) you might bring that up to 0.025% - but that's about as good as it gets.

Wow! Really? I would have thought maybe 20%...
But thanks for the numbers AP. Not sure I believe 'em, but you are way better informed about this kind of stuff than I am, so... I prob'ly should...:-)
Richard_Smith
3 / 5 (3) Jun 12, 2014
Sol is generally considered to be nearly 1/2 way through it's 10-13Bill lifespan[/q ]

That is the another one you got wrong. What he said made more sense to me. That 10-13 is for the mainline Sun. It will still be here for trillions of years and forever with most of the planets called the white dwarf
In all fairness I was too general. Sol will exit Main Sequence stage in roughly 5.4 bill years, and go into it's Red Giant stage. At that point it's expected to make 4 different cycles of expansion and collapse over a period of roughly 3 bill years where it will incinerate and consume every piece of matter in this system including the planets. Sol will live for trillions as a white dwarf, but this entire system is toast (or at least the first three planets are) starting in 5.5 bill years.

http://en.wikiped...wiki/Sun
Richard_Smith
3.5 / 5 (4) Jun 12, 2014
@richard_smith

From wiki: "While the Andromeda Galaxy contains about 1 trillion (10E12) stars and the Milky Way contains about 300 billion (3×10E11), the chance of even two stars colliding is negligible because of the huge distances between the stars."

Recommend you do some reading here: http://en.wikiped...ollision

lol, I have read the page, and understood it well. "There is a 12% chance our entire system could be thrown into space". It doesn't matter anyway, the same time this is happening the sun will going into it's red giant phase, It will consume the inner system one planet at a time.

BTW read the first paragraph of that article where it purports that is "improbable that many will collide, and the changes to very low probability of even two colliding in the next. That's called covering your butt,
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) Jun 12, 2014
Not sure I believe 'em, but you are way better informed about this kind of stuff than I am, so

In this case I just googled around for various figures (surface area of oceans, average depth, mass of Earth, mass of atmosphere, etc. ) and did the calcs...found that wikipedia cites almost the exact same number (I came out to roughly 0.02% with the atmosphere being pretty negligible...wikipedia cites the 0.023% number for water) ...so I gave it the benefit of the doubt and chose the 'less astonishing' of the two.
BSD
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 12, 2014
I am a ten year old girl who loves Science. I liked your video a lot, although I did have to talk to my mom for a while to get out of a panicked mode about not having the moon. I need my sleep! So, you asked what could have caused the "issue" between the Earth and the Moon? Well, if we are being creative, then I think it is because its feelings were hurt that there are so many more songs about the sun and daytime than the moon and night. Also, everyone associates the moon and nighttime with scary things rather than peaceful things. I think the moon feels jilted.


My favourite comment. Thank you rusty169.

I hope you get to be what ever you set your dreams on in the future.

Good luck. :)
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (5) Jun 12, 2014
@CS

I'm a general machinist by trade. Currently I'm the senior mechanical designer for a custom equipment manufacturer doing 3D modeling etc. but was a Tool & Die maker, a CNC programmer and designed & built automated machinery and robotics in the past, mostly for the automotive industry but many others too.

My problem is that I have too many interests and was never able to focus on one for too long. Practically anything in nature interests me.

I used to aspire to be an archaeologist but the poor pay and job market turned me off.

Asimov. I should have read some of his books by now but haven't yet. I will make an effort to do just that. Thanks.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (4) Jun 12, 2014
@CS

I'm a general machinist by trade. Currently I'm the senior mechanical designer for a custom equipment manufacturer doing 3D modeling etc. but was a Tool & Die maker, a CNC programmer and designed & built automated machinery and robotics in the past, mostly for the automotive industry but many others too.

My problem is that I have too many interests and was never able to focus on one for too long. Practically anything in nature interests me.

I used to aspire to be an archaeologist but the poor pay and job market turned me off.

Asimov. I should have read some of his books by now but haven't yet. I will make an effort to do just that. Thanks.

@Rock
Not an educational source, but read his short story called "The Last Question". It was an Asimov "thought experiment"...:-)
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (4) Jun 12, 2014
@WG

Ok I'll look for that. Though I'll need to live to be 1000 years old to finish reading everything I'd like.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (4) Jun 13, 2014
Ok I'll look for that. Though I'll need to live to be 1000 years old to finish reading everything I'd like.
RockWOlf
it's not very long: http://www.multiv...ion.html
I used to aspire to be an archaeologist
poor pay aside... it is something you can consider after building a retirement portfolio. something to do in your old age. never too late to learn something new!
My problem is that I have too many interests and was never able to focus on one for too long. Practically anything in nature interests me
I know this problem well... I have a similar problem. One reason that I own more books than our local library.

If you are ever on sciforums.com look me up
Truck Captain Stumpy
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) Jun 13, 2014
Practically anything in nature interests me.

Probably the reason why quite a few of us hang out here (me included)
Asimov. I should have read some of his books by now but haven't yet.

It's weird reading them now. I also came to the 'classic' Asimov very late... e.g. I read the 'Robots' stories just a few years ago. Unfortunately quite a few of the stories haven't aged well. There's still some good observations regarding psychology/sociology there, but the technical aspects are mostly quaint by now (and the basic theme with the Laws of Robotics is somewhat repetitive).

"The Last Question".

You can also get it as an audio file somewhere.
I found "The Gods Themselves" to be interesting (and teh self destructive behavior based on a convenient energy source seems very relevant today). The Foundation series was a long time favorite, but it, too, has become somewhat dated.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2014
@CS

Ya I thought about that. I also love fossils so that is a consideration too as we have lot's of them here in Alberta.

Wow. I also have way too many books. I love buying them but refuse to sell them. I'll check sciforums out but not til next week as I'm headed off to climb some mountains and (receding) glaciers this weekend in the Rockies. Thanks!

@AP
Yes it's quite an affliction isn't it?

Thanks for the info!
Evil Creamsicle
1 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2014
The uncurable virus that Earth had contracted which it previously had under control had begun to get worse, so much so that it developed a constant fever which was only getting worse, and the virus was becoming increasingly contagious. This also caused a drastic change in Earth's behavior, which fostered an unhealthy atmosphere between them, which was putting even more pressure on Earth [I'd guess about 1kg per square cm, or 14.7 lbs per square inch. Roughly.]. To distract itself, moon became very busy, and they eventually drifted apart.

How's that?
Uncle Ira
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 13, 2014
How's that?


Well Evil-Skippy since you asked me. It was pretty stupid. Not the most stupid I never did see around here but he was pretty stupid. Ol Ira is sure if you work a little more hard you will get right up there with the really stupid peoples.

I got the older almost wore out silly looking pointy cap for you to wear is you want it. It was left over when one of the more than you stupid peoples earned him a brand shiny new one.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (4) Jun 13, 2014
The uncurable virus that Earth had contracted which it previously had under control had begun to get worse, so much so that it developed a constant fever which was only getting worse, and the virus was becoming increasingly contagious. This also caused a drastic change in Earth's behavior, which fostered an unhealthy atmosphere between them, which was putting even more pressure on Earth [I'd guess about 1kg per square cm, or 14.7 lbs per square inch. Roughly.]. To distract itself, moon became very busy, and they eventually drifted apart.

How's that?


It seems phys.org is linked with another website called "cometypegibberishandnonsensehere.com"
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2014
I also came to the 'classic' Asimov very late... e.g. I read the 'Robots' stories just a few years ago
@antialias_physorg
I never got into Asimov's sci-fi. I've read some, but I've never liked fiction that much, with some rare exceptions like Hitchhikers guide or the Pythons on DVD... I prefer Asimov's non-fiction stuff, really. I read the Foundation series about 2 years ago for the first time... :-)
I love buying them but refuse to sell them
@Rockwolf
I have the same affliction. and I only have about 300 fiction books. lol
I'll check sciforums out but not til next week as I'm headed off to climb some mountains and (receding) glaciers this weekend in the Rockies
look up thermo (Thermodynamics), you can get my e-mail from there. Have fun... I love the Rockies. still go there when I can. as well as the Olympics and Cascades. ENJOY
Whydening Gyre
4 / 5 (4) Jun 14, 2014
The uncurable virus that Earth had contracted which it previously had under control had begun to get worse, so much so that it developed a constant fever which was only getting worse, and the virus was becoming increasingly contagious. This also caused a drastic change in Earth's behavior, which fostered an unhealthy atmosphere between them, which was putting even more pressure on Earth [I'd guess about 1kg per square cm, or 14.7 lbs per square inch. Roughly.]. To distract itself, moon became very busy, and they eventually drifted apart.

How's that?


I'd call that a metaphor, written to distract and keep you busy as you drift apart in your own personal relationship.
pandora4real
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 14, 2014
What useless drivel.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Jun 16, 2014
Or it could happen the quick way.

"on 13 September 1999, nuclear waste stored on the Moon's far side explodes, knocking the Moon out of orbit and sending it, as well as the 311 inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, hurtling uncontrollably into space."
http://youtu.be/w4-A__lZrEA

It could happen.
Deo vindice
not rated yet Jun 16, 2014
blah blah...blah...blah...blah...blah...blah...

...and the bartender pointed to the sign and said, " Can't you read?"
"No strings allowed!"
The string laughed and said, "I'm not a string...
I'm a frayed knot!"

I'm afraid not...

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