We take our moon for granted. But without the moon, life on earth, especially human life, would be radically different, if existent at all. The rotation of the earth would be three times faster. The winds would be hundreds of miles per hour. The rhythmic, daily, global tides –which is a form of breathing for the earth (inhale/tides out, exhale/tides in) would be severely diminished. Our atmosphere would be wildly unpredictable and our oceans would be severely under- oxygenated. With only the sun’s gravity, the tides would become either tepid or tidal.
Those are some outcomes quite easy to figure out; however, the exponential impact of hundreds of lesser variables for a moonless scenario would be impossible to calculate. All we can know for sure is that without the moon, the impact on the earth– including every single aspect of our eco-system and biosphere — would be catastrophic. Our planet would be totally unrecognizable. We don’t just need the moon, we desperately need the moon.
AN ASTRONOMICAL HOLE IN ONE
In Genesis, it states that God created the moon and the sun together. They are for signs and seasons. They are the two great lights to rule the day and the night. In short, they are a majestic, benevolent team.
Few people realize that the sun and moon are almost exactly the same apparent size in the sky. Because the moon does not quite orbit the earth in a perfect circle, there are a few degrees of variation from time to time. However, during a total solar eclipse, they are in fact the exact apparent size. I say apparent because although they look the same size to the naked eye, the sun is actually 400 times bigger than the moon. But, get ready for this: the sun is also 400 times farther away from us than the moon. Because of this happy, or should I say astronomical ‘co-incidence’, the two appear to our eyes as the same size. And these cosmic ratios of 400X bigger and 400X further away are the basis for a total eclipse.
A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon is exactly between us and the sun, perfectly blocking the disc of the sun. Anyone who has ever seen a total eclipse will never forget it. It is truly the greatest show on earth. I recently watched the science program NOVA and an astronomer admitted that the odds of these two celestial bodies lining up so exactly, so precisely – by accident — is almost inconceivable. He then went on to say (I’m closely paraphrasing), “Not only is this precise alignment of moon, planet and sun an unlikely occurrence anywhere else in our own galaxy, but it probably has not happened anywhere else in the entire universe!” Awesome.
WHERE DID THE MOON COME FROM?
You may or may not be shocked to hear that no one really knows. There are a few theories: 1) It was captured by the earth as it was passing by — Ruled out because the earth would not be big enough to capture a moon our size. 2) It formed in tandem with the earth billions of years ago as they were spinning and gathering matter to form an individual planet and moon – Ruled out because the moon is totally unlike the earth in composition 3) Another Mars-sized planet smashed into the earth, and because the earth was bigger, it swallowed up the iron core of this rogue planet and left behind the material the moon was eventually formed out of. This theory is the most widely accepted. However, it also has lots of problems, like, why are the two — earth and moon — still sooo dissimilar in composition? Why is the moon utterly dead, dry as a bone dead? Why the incredible co-incidences of ratios between sun and moon? How can something so random, so accidental as smashing planets yield the greatest astronomical hole-in-one imaginable – a total solar eclipse? Why are the moon and the sun, the two great lights, the exact same sizes in the sky?
Some say the moon came from a ‘Ka-Boom!’ Some say the moon came from a ‘Ta-Da!’ I am of the latter. How God made the moon is a total mystery. We only know this: He spoke and it came to pass. The moon is for seasons and the moon is for signs! God is here. God is awesome!