Is the Moon Moving Farther Away From Earth?

moon-moving-farther-away-earth Credit: NASA / Handout/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The moon is in fact gradually drifting away from the earth. Each year, the moon spins almost 4 centimeters farther from the earth, which makes the earth's day just a bit longer. While this 1.48-inch movement will eventually add up to a big change, it will take billions of years to make a significant difference to life on earth.

The moon's spinning trajectory away from the earth can be traced back to the moon's very creation, which is estimated to have occurred several billion years ago. Scientists estimate that the moon was originally much closer to earth, and it has gradually moved away over the course of billions of years.