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What Would Happen If the Moon Crashed Into Earth

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What Would Happen If the Moon Crashed Into Earth

The ever-philosophical design house Kurzgesagt explains what would happen in the very unlikely event that the Moon crashed into Earth. Despite the verbiage, this event would not be an instantaneous collision, but rather a slow and destructive series of events that would develop over time.

Today we are answering an age-old very scientific and important question: What if the moon crashes into earth? It’s more interesting and weird than you probably think.

This can happen when the speed at which the Moon forces is changed. This, in turn, affects its orbit.

So for the moon to just stop  in its orbit and plummet to the earth would break more laws of physics than we have time  to explain. So how do we crash it into earth? In a nutshell, to change an object’s  orbit, you need to change its speed,  which changes where gravity takes it. But  even small changes require enormous forces,  which is why all the large objects in  the solar system are so stable nowadays.

If the moon’s speed and its orbit change, a series of cataclysmic events would unfold over the course of 12 months, although the occurrences of the last three would wipe out most of humanity.

At this point the apocalypse has arrived and  we can summarize the months before the crash as “everybody left has a really bad time”.  The tides sweeping over the Earth slow down  and then reverse their direction because the  moon now orbits earth faster than it rotates. The planet will experience an abundance of  earthquakes and volcanism. Massive amounts of  volcanic aerosols rise high into the stratosphere,  shiny enough to reflect sunlight back into space.

So while this type of event is highly unlikely, it is fascinating, and even a bit absurd to examine.

So how do you calculate that sort of thing? Well,   you just need a bit of insanity and some maths.

 

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