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Will the Moon Continue to Move Away from the Earth?

22 Jun 2014, 15:29 UTC
Will the Moon Continue to Move Away from the Earth?
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Question: My unqualified theory is simple. Yes the moon is moving away and has been proved but it will eventually come to a halt and then the Hawkin theory about galaxies colliding – well the same principle works for two peices of rock. The moon will stop moving away then start pulling closer and faster until it eventually collides with Earth again. What color do you think the moon would be closer to the earth? – Jake
Answer: In fact, due to the dynamical friction generated by the orbit of the Moon on the Earth’s surface, the orbit of the Moon is indeed getting bigger, which means that its distance from the Earth is increasing. This increase will continue far into the future, and will not reverse itself. Note, though, that the Moon’s distance increases by only about 3.8 cm per year, while its orbit is about 384,000 km, so the rate that the Moon is moving away from us is very small.
Jeff Mangum

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