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The moon

  1. Oct 31, 2003 #1
    not sure if this belongs here but here it goes

    what would happen if they decided to blow up the moon?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 31, 2003 #2


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    They would probably be very frustrated. The moon is an awfully large thing to try and blow up.

    If you're asking about tidal forces and effects on orbits, then it depends a lot on what you mean by blow up.
  4. Oct 31, 2003 #3
    like blow it all up, into pieces
  5. Nov 1, 2003 #4
    Ever see the new remake of H.G. Well's 'The Time Machine'?
  6. Nov 1, 2003 #5
    Depends where the little pieces went...
  7. Nov 1, 2003 #6
    Since every mass in the universe is attracted to every other mass, though some more than others obviously (as we dont go all flying towards trees and houses, The forces deemed signifcant on us would change. Gravity would no longer be down, but there would be a new resultant gravity depending on where the peices went.

    I will be very frustrated if that was a joke question.
  8. Nov 1, 2003 #7
    I think this originated from a study, which claimed that much of the environmental problem such as global warming would be solved if the moon is blown up.

    Well, I think it's quite hard to say when if we blow up the moon, especially with so many different pieces of rock flying all over the place. But if you're saying that the moon suddenly, for no reason, logically impossibly, disappears from the universe. Then I think it may affect the ecosystem here quite a lot, though not necessary devastating.
  9. Nov 1, 2003 #8


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    The pieces would still have their original momentum but would also have the extra momentum given by the explosion. Therefore, initially, the centre of mass of all the pieces would continue around the earth. However, all the pieces would individually execute their own orbits, and these would have a range of eccentricities and periods. The pieces would end up colliding with each other, and so after many years, they would smear out. Eventually, you'd have a ring as saturn does.
  10. Nov 1, 2003 #9
    bloody genius. i didnt think of that, do u think thats maybe how saturn got its rings, would the rings cancel out some of the earths gravity or would it add, or would it stay the same?
  11. Nov 1, 2003 #10
    I'm not current on theories of Saturn's ring formation, but the fragmentation of a moon (due to collision or tidal disruption) has certainly been proposed.

    (We know that Saturn's rings can't have formed when Saturn did; they are relatively recent, maybe a few hundred million years old.)


    http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/lord_rings_020220-2.html [Broken]

    A Moon-massed ring in the orbit of the Moon would lessen the Earth's surface gravity by the same amount the Moon itself does: a few parts per million.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  12. Nov 2, 2003 #11
    It depends on what you mean by 'quite a lot' although I tend to agree with what you are saying. The tides would become insignificant which WOULD be devastating to coastal ecosystems.

    It is an interesting thought that without our massive moon and the tides it causes, life would probably not have evolved the way it did as it would be harder for creatures to make the transition from sea to land. Would we be here without it?
  13. Nov 2, 2003 #12
    While for some time the moon would be smeared out into a ring, since it is outside of the earth's Rosche [sp] limit, after many many millions of years it would eventually coalesce back into a moon. Most likely it would be smaller as we can expect some chunks of the original moon to have been ejected towards earth, or away into a sufficiently far orbit, but more or less a new, much different, moon should form.
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