Earth depends on both the Sun and the moon for life as humans know it to exist. The Sun is the ultimate source of energy for the planet, and the moon provides a slight break against the Earth's rotation via tidal forces. The Sun also affects tides.Continue Reading
The Sun provides heat and light to Earth. The heating of Earth's surface produces wind and warms the soil and oceans. Warm air and cooler air intermingle and create rainstorms and other precipitation, and the light gives plants the energy they need to conduct photosynthesis and play a vital role in the food web. Because of the Sun's gravitational pull on Earth, it produces tides, but not as intensely as the moon does.
The moon's gravity and the Sun's gravity align in the new and full moon phases, creating larger tides that slow Earth's rotation slightly. The tides carry water around the oceans and fuel currents that transfer heat from the equator toward the poles. The gravity of the moon is also thought to keep the Earth from tilting too far and therefore making its climate and seasons more stable. If the axis of Earth were straighter, the seasons would be less noticeable. If it were tilted more, the seasons would be more intense.Learn more about Our Moon
The moon travels in an elliptical orbit, and at perigee, the closest it gets to Earth, it stands about 225,623 miles, or 363,104 kilometers away.Full Answer >
The main way the moon affects the Earth is the tides. The moon plays an important role in protecting the Earth from space rocks, such as meteorites. More subtle effects of the moon include minor effects on climate, the heat of the crust and the speed of the Earth's rotation.Full Answer >
The Earth's moon takes 27 Earth days to completely orbit the Earth. A day on the moon is also equal to a little over 27 days on Earth.Full Answer >
The Earth is much bigger than the moon. While the Earth is measured at 8,000 miles in diameter, the Moon only measures 2,160 miles in diameter. This means that if the Earth was hollowed out, the Moon could fit inside it 50 times.Full Answer >