The moon has just exploded. What happens next? Are there going to be huge tidal waves that wipe out coastal cities? Are there going to be huge chunks of the moon that fly towards us and collide with the earth? Are we all going to die?
Luckily we won’t even know the moon has exploded until around 1.25 seconds after it does due to the distance between the earth and moon being around 384,400 kilometers. So quickly read through this article and find out exactly what is going to happen next and how our lives might be changed by a lack of moon, that is if we survive.
What Happens First?
Well, the first thing you’d notice is that the moon has just exploded, likely into loads of pieces. If the explosion was small enough we may be lucky and the moon would break into larger chunks that would just continue to gravitate around the earth. If that were to happen we’d have multiple moons, and that would give us a whole new set of problems to deal with.
But let’s say it was a larger explosion because it would need to be a very large explosion to destroy the moon. We’d likely see a lot of moon chunks being fired off into all directions, most would be shot off into space as asteroids that are going to explore the stars but a few are going to be shot directly at us.
Any dinosaur fans out there are going to be thinking of a familiar story of some large asteroids heading toward earth. However, you don’t have to worry about the asteroid storm just yet.
Our atmosphere is working double-time to break the asteroids up so we are hardly affected by even the largest ones, any asteroid that would be big enough to wipe us out would be going slow enough to be caught in our gravitational orbit and get turned into a smaller moon.
No need to worry at all, our atmosphere is doing the trick, just sit back, relax, take your sweater off, turn on the a/c, maybe a glass of iced lemonade. Hang on, it’s getting quite hot in here, isn’t it? Although the small asteroids pummeling our atmosphere aren’t exactly going to cause a massive, species-ending explosion, there are a lot of them.
Our atmosphere is working very hard to burn up these asteroids and that’s creating quite a heat. Our world is getting hotter, hotter, and hotter, and since this barrage isn’t letting up, this heat won’t stop and all life on earth will be incinerated.
How Do I Survive This?
Well, the first thing you might want to do is not be on earth. However, to do that, you’re going to have to hurry up. Seriously, stop reading and get into that rocket because there is a lot of debris flying our way, so much so that it would be nearly impossible to navigate any spacecraft.
And even if the debris from the moon wasn’t enough, the 7,500 satellites orbiting our earth have just been destroyed by either the shockwave of the explosion or the resulting debris, making even more debris for you to fly through.
If you’re still reading this, then I assume that you don’t have a spacecraft or we’re a bit too late to fire it up. If you have a bunker that is deep down enough then that’s the safe bet, although all life on earth is incinerated, it could be hard to live afterward.
Life Without A Moon
Congratulations, you’ve survived the great burning of the earth. It’s not going to look pretty on the surface so you may want to stay down in your bunker for say 66 million years, just so things can evolve to what they are today.
Fantastic, now you can get out there and see what a life would be like if our moon wasn’t there. If it’s nighttime when you leave, there are two things that you’re going to notice straight away. First of all, the moon isn’t there. The second thing you’ll notice is the stars.
A full moon is on average 14,000x brighter than the next brightest thing in our night sky, which is Venus. Without it, every night would be incredibly dark, and stargazing would be amazing now there is no moon blocking your view.
However, come morning you’re going to realize that losing the moon isn’t exactly all stargazing. If you’re near a beach then you’re going to notice a lack of waves, the moon has the most influence over the tides of the earth than both the sun and the rotation of the earth.
This means that there will be a severe lack of surfer dudes, but also every species of animal that relies on tidal zones, such as most crabs, muscles, and sea snails would be gone. Any animal that relies on these shellfish for food will be gone too, creating a coastal ecosystem domino effect that would result in a lot of animal loss.
It won’t just be sea life that’s affected by this tidal change either, the weather is heavily influenced by the tide, with tidal currents mixing cold arctic waters with warmer waters. This balances temperatures and stabilizes the climate worldwide.
Without the moon, it’s going to get very hot in the summers and very cold in the winters, so hot and cold that it could be life-threatening. Life-threatening heat isn’t exactly what you want to be going through after the great incineration.
Death by weather isn’t the biggest change the lack of moon would make to the earth, however. The moon’s gravity has a huge influence on the axis of our planet, currently, our axis is at a stable 23.5 degrees thanks to the moon. But much like the weather, without the moon, our axis would be quite unstable. It could be anywhere between 10 to 45 degrees and change constantly.
Surely a 10-degree change in tilt can’t be that bad though right? Well, the earth’s axis has changed before, only by about 1 to 2 degrees, and scientists think that this change in tilt is what caused the great ice age. It’s difficult to know what a 10-degree tilt change could do to our earth but we can probably guess that it isn’t going to be great for anything still living on this planet.
You’ve survived harsh weather beforehand, I’m sure you can just go back into your bunker and set a timer on your watch for when to come out. Although that watch may be a bit off. Over the billions of years the moon has had with the earth, the moon’s gravitational pull has slowed the earth down and it is the reason our days are 24-hours long.
Without the moon the earth is going to travel faster, giving us shorter days. This fast rotation will also give us stronger winds that’ll make it harder for birds and insects to fly, and potentially kill off many species.
Be Nice To The Moon
We better be thankful that our moon is still there, although it just looks like a large rock that lights up our night, it has a lot of important effects that change the lives of all the species on earth including our own. So when you’re sitting at the beach, looking at the clock, or just enjoying not being incinerated, thank the moon, because it could be much worse.