A Helping Hand
HOW DOES THE MOON HELP THE EARTH?
In 1969, three American astronauts flew in a rocket to the Moon. Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the Moon. When he was there, he talked to people on Earth on the radio. But they heard him 1.25 seconds later. That’s because it’s more than 350,000 kilometers from the Moon to the Earth.
The Moon pulls the Earth. Because of this, the Earth is turning more and more slowly. Our day is getting 0.000015 seconds longer every year. But, of course, we don’t feel the difference.
The Moon goes around the Earth, but really, the Earth and the Moon go around each other. At the same time, the Earth and the Moon, together, go around the Sun.
The Earth has a tilt of 23.5 degrees. Because of the pull of the Moon, this tilt doesn’t change. And that’s a good thing, because it’s the Earth’s tilt that gives us our seasons. Thanks to the Moon, we enjoy spring, summer, fall, and winter. And the Earth doesn’t get too hot or too cold for life.
The Moon’s pull gives us tides, too. The Moon pulls the sea, and the water goes up and down. The Sun also pulls the sea and gives us tides, but the Moon’s tides are much bigger because it is closer to the Earth.
Tides can help us. We can use them to make electricity for our factories and homes. And that electricity is clean to make. It isn’t bad for plants and animals.
The Moon also helps sailors on boats at sea. At night, they can see where the Moon is — if there are no clouds. Then they know where to go.
The Moon helps animals, too. Many animals go out at night. A little moonlight helps them to see.
Of course, for some small animals, that’s not always a good thing. Big animals can see them in the moonlight and eat them!
The Moon can also tell animals where to go. Baby olive ridley turtles start their life in a hole in the sand on a beach. They use the Moon to find the sea.