Science 02 Feb 2017 Earth, Moon on a cat ...

Earth, Moon on a catastrophic collision course ahead

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Feb 2, 2017, 7:24 am IST
Updated Feb 2, 2017, 7:25 am IST
The survival of the Earth-Moon system during the Sun’s Red Giant Phase is unceratin.
Our Earth and Moon are on a catastrophic collision course from some 65 billion years from now. (Representational image)
 Our Earth and Moon are on a catastrophic collision course from some 65 billion years from now. (Representational image)

Our Earth and Moon are on a catastrophic collision course from some 65 billion years from now, researchers from University of Idaho claimed.

In a statement to Science Journalist Bruce Dorminey, a planetary scientist from the University of Idaho said that the final end-state of tidal evolution in the Earth-Moon system will indeed be the inspiral of the Moon and its subsequent collision and accretion onto Earth.

 

Barney explained the eventually the Earth’s rotation will keep slowing down until it matches the Moon’s orbital period, and at that the time the Moon will stop moving outwards. “Eventually, it would get so close that it would spiral inward, dissipating its orbital kinetic energy in a spectacular collision and merger with the Earth,” said Barnes.  

The scientist while revealing the observation also expressed the uncertainty about the survival of the Earth-Moon system during the Sun’s Red Giant Phase-the phase when the Sun will turn into a red giant star, expand and engulf the planets, possibly the Earth too.

 

If this happens, the Earth would be frozen solid. But “if there were someone hanging out here in a heated dome or something, the energy released in the merging would re-melt the Earth into a magma ocean,” said Barnes.

For more information, you can read a detailed article here.

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