What if our Moon did not exist?SWI swissinfo.ch
Swissinfo.ch - Sun 21 Jul 10:10 GMT

Ten reasons we should appreciate the presence of our magnificent Moon by astrophysics professor Ben Moore.

  The year was subdivided into 12 lunar months, where each lunar month was the period between the same lunar phases, such as from the first site of the crescent Moon to the next.

  Without this comparison I doubt that Newton would have come up with his famous law of gravity When Galileo pointed one of the first telescopes at the Moon in 1609, he saw lunar craters for the first time and the shadows of sunlight from the lunar mountains.

  Science fiction stories such as Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon caught the imagination of the first rocket scientists - Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Esnault Pelterie, Hermann Oberth and Robert Goddard.

  Four and a half billion years ago, we think that a planet collided with our young Earth, scattering debris into orbit that formed our Moon.

  The evidence for this comes from the lunar rocks brought back by the Apollo programme – the Moon rocks have a nearly identical atomic composition as the Earth, suggesting that the Moon was once part of the Earth.

  The gravity of our Moon pulls on the bulge of the Earth, preventing it from wobbling in space, thus maintaining a stable climate and preventing global ice ages.

  The ocean tides are a result of the gravitational force of the Moon – it is stronger on the side of the Earth that is closest to the Moon and weakest on the far side of the Earth.