poly: the Moon and life on Earth

From: CurtAdams <CurtAdams@aol.com>
Date: Mon Jan 19 1998 - 22:46:38 PST

In a message dated 1/19/98 12:55:22 PM, carlf@atg.com wrote:

>>(Having a large moon has
>>sometimes been cited as a 'reason' for Earth to be fecund.)
>By whom, and on what grounds? I read this in a Larry Niven story years
>ago, but I don't recall seeing it anywhere more authoritative.

I saw it in a tertiary source a while back. The reason is that
the moon stabilizes the Earth's axis of rotation. Without that
stabilization the axis drifts widely over time, including sometimes
tilting at 90 degrees like Uranus right now, which is thought
incompatible with complex life.

The same source also claimed that the continual recession of the moon
reduces its stabilization effect and that in about another billion
years the earth's axis will begin to drift out of its current
relatively narrow range of tilt.

I think the source was the LA Times, which is normally a decent
Received on Tue Jan 20 06:49:00 1998

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