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Earths orbit around the sun

  1. Jun 22, 2007 #1
    How much does the moons mass contribute to the earths orbital distance and characteristics around the sun.

    If the mass of moon and the earth were not joined At the hip or say the moon magically disappeared :rolleyes: would the earths orbit around the sun still be within the habitable zone or would we orbit further out.

    Thank you for your answers :)
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2007 #2


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    Any change would be extremely, extremely small. While some orbital characteristics, like the period of the orbit, do vary with the mass of the orbiting body, this is only noticeable when the orbiting body's mass is a significant fraction of that of the body it orbits.

    In the case of the Earth-moon and the Sun, the latter is 329,299 times the mass of the former pair together, and the moon is 1/81 the mass of the Earth. That small a change in the Earth-moon mass would not lead to any significant changes.
  4. Jun 23, 2007 #3
    Thankyou for your reply
  5. Jun 23, 2007 #4


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    Since the Earth-moon system orbit around the barycentre, you can sort of think of the barycentre of the Earth-moon system orbiting the sun as opposed to the Earth orbiting around the sun. However, the barycentre is inside the Earth anyway, so the difference would indeed be slight.
  6. Jun 25, 2007 #5
    as already answered by JAL, if the moon dissapeared, it would have almost no impact on the orbit, but the "habitability" of our dear mother would be severly questionned... The presence of the moon has a huge impact on the distribution of the oceans, and the climate regulation,
    If it dissapeared, I am afraid the republican party would have to start believing in global warming...
  7. Jun 25, 2007 #6


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    Just for the fun of it, I tried it in Gravity Simulator. Deleting the Moon at various points in its orbit has no visual effect on the Earth's solar orbit.

    Politics in threads like this is generally not a good idea. If someone disagrees with you, then the thread gets pulled way off topic.
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