Reasons for Studying Moon – UPSC GS3

Facts about Moon:
  • The Moon is Earth’s only natural satellite and the fifth largest moon in the solar system.
  • The Moon’s presence helps stabilize our planet’s wobble, which helps stabilize our climate.
  • The Moon’s distance from Earth is about 3,85,000 km.
  • The Moon has a very thin atmosphere called an exosphere.
  • The Moon’s entire surface is cratered and pitted from impacts.
  • The Earth and Moon are tidally-locked. Their rotations are so in sync we only see one side of the Moon all the time.
Reasons for Studying Moon:
  • Understanding Early Earth:
    • As it is made of remnants of Earth, clues about the composition of an early Earth could very well be hidden between layers of Moon dust.
    • Further, the Moon holds potential clues to how life began on Earth.
  • To Understand Seismic Activity on Earth :
    • Studying Moonquakes can help us understand what seismic activity on Earth could have been like during times with less liquid water on the surface, such as during major ice ages or during the Earth’s early history, when the surface was much too hot to preserve liquid oceans.
  • Composition of Earth’s Atmosphere:
    • By measuring Earth’s glow from the Moon, scientists can accurately estimate how much Earth itself shines, and even the composition of Earth’s atmosphere.
  • To Understand Tides, Seasons and Climate:
    • Measuring the mass, size and orbital properties of the Moon is essential for predicting rhythms of tides and seasons.
    • Studying these tidal and orbital interactions between Earth and the Moon is extremely important for understanding possible effects on Earth’s climate.
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