Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

No moon=no tides no tides=no life Is that entirely correct?

  1. Jan 27, 2013 #1
    no moon=no tides...no tides=no life... Is that entirely correct??

    I was recently discussing origins of early life on our planet, the other person stated that he had read (from Prof Brian Cox I think) that: no moon=no tides...no tides=no life.
    Although our moon is the main influence on our tides, aren't our tides also affected by our sun which we orbit. So if a planet doesn't have a moon, it still has tidal influence from their large mass sun, or star it orbits, although obviousy not as interactive as a smaller but closer moon provides. I believe our moon/sun interaction is somewhere around a factor of 2.2, basically producing solar tides about half that of the moons lunar tidal force. Also I would think any other planets in orbit would also influence the tidal movements to a degree.
    Would I be correct in assuming the only possible way a planet with liquid oceans could have no, or minimal, tides is if the planet was bound in a "Captured Orbit" just like our moon, which does a full 360 degree rotation, per 1 orbit around our planet ,which is of course why we never view the other side of the moon. So basically, any planet or moon containing liquid ocean, that is in any rotation other then a captured orbit, must have a tidal influence of some degree.
    I would have thought that tidal influences are more integretal to life evolution from water to land based life forms, rather then just supporting life itself.
    Sorry if I have posted in the wrong section.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Re: no moon=no tides...no tides=no life... Is that entirely correct??

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=moon-life-tides
    ... it's all speculation of course.
    It is presumably possible for life to evolve without large tides and so on ... it's just that life on Earth, particularly the life we know, would have had more trouble without the Moon.
     
  4. Jan 27, 2013 #3
    Re: no moon=no tides...no tides=no life... Is that entirely correct??

    Check out the first few sections here on ocean currents for another interesting perspective...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_currents

    This does not necessarily negate anything I saw in the Scientific American article, but offers a complementary description on another vast source of ocean movements.

    I wonder how essential tides are, if at all, to ocean currents....how big a role they play.
     
  5. Jan 27, 2013 #4
    Re: no moon=no tides...no tides=no life... Is that entirely correct??

    Thank you both for your prompt replies.
    Naty1: from what I understand the Coriolis Effect caused from the Earths rotation is also mainly responsible for oceanic currents.
    Simon: Would I be correct in assuming the only possible way a planet with liquid oceans could have no, or minimal, tides is if the planet was bound in a "Captured Orbit" just like our moon, which does a full 360 degree rotation, per 1 orbit around our planet ,which is of course why we never view the other side of the moon. So basically, any planet or moon containing liquid ocean, that is in any rotation other then a captured orbit, must have a tidal influence of some degree.
    Thanks.
     
  6. Jan 27, 2013 #5
    Re: no moon=no tides...no tides=no life... Is that entirely correct??

    Also, I'm presuming that a planet in a super large eccentric orbit would be too cold, due to the huge distance from it's source star, to form a liquid ocean surface.
     
  7. Jan 27, 2013 #6

    Chronos

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: no moon=no tides...no tides=no life... Is that entirely correct??

    I agree it is difficult to picture how you could get tides on a planet that was tidally locked with a more massive neighbor.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: No moon=no tides no tides=no life Is that entirely correct?
  1. Is this correct? (Replies: 14)

  2. Water on the Moon (Replies: 6)

  3. The Moon and Venus (Replies: 2)

Loading...