This is the first in what I hope will become a long running series of informational Bubbles.
The Moon is an amazing and essential force on the stability and habitability of our planet. Thanks to Dr Harrison Schmitt, who was on the Apollo 17 moon mission and the only Geologist to ever visit the Moon, we know that the Moon is made of virtually identical material to the Earth. It has the same Oxygen/Isotope ratios as the Earth which shows that the Earth and Moon were created in the same area of the Solar System.
The mechanism that started the creation of both the Moon and the Earth was that of electro-static attraction. The tiny particles of dust in the early period of our solar system attracted one another because of their 'charge', in much the same way that a nylon-plastic comb can attract tissue paper after use. As these particles clumped together they fuse and their gravitational force increased, as gravity is dependent upon mass. This increased gravity caused clumps to pull together and fuse into yet larger clumps, and eventually the Moon and the Earth - along with every other planetary body in the Universe.
It is currently believed that the Moon and the Earth started orbiting one another due to an impact with each other as both were forming. The gravity of both objects then pulled them into orbit, and they have been dancing around one another ever since.
The Moon is responsible for stabilising Earth, and stopping it from all but the slightest wobble. This is important as it allows for the steady seasonal changes and the slow climatic changes that the Earth goes through. The Moon is also responsible for the sea tides, without which it is unlikely that land borne life would have ever existed.
Article Information This article is an original piece of work by Damion Lee (GrumpyDad). My work is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
Image used under Attribution 2.0 Generic License (CC BY 2.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en_GB "Albuquerque Moon", Copyright, June 2010 © Jason Bache http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonbache/