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Could the Moon Actually Crash Toward Earth?

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Click the link below the picture

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There’s a trailer out for a new science fiction film called Moonfall, to be released in early 2022, in which the moon is about to crash into Earth. It features several shots of a reddish moon hovering extremely close to the planet, crumbling apart while sucking the oceans toward it, the debris flying into spacecraft and mountains. It doesn’t actually show a collision—you know, it’s just a trailer and they don’t want to spoil everything.

This isn’t the first movie to stretch the bounds of believable physics. (Remember Sharknado?) But just because it’s science fiction doesn’t mean it’s totally wrong. That’s why I’m here: I’m going to go over the actual physics that would apply if the moon ever got too close to us.

How Could the Moon Crash Into Earth?

According to the movie’s official IMDB entry, “a mysterious force knocks the moon from its orbit,” precipitating its plunge toward Earth. That’s not a lot to go on. Would there really be a way to make that happen?

Let’s start with a basic model of how the planet and its satellite act on each other. A gravitational force pulls Earth and the moon toward each other. This force depends on the mass of both objects and has a magnitude inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the centers of the two bodies.

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Photograph: Nasa

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.wired.com/story/could-the-moon-actually-crash-toward-the-earth/

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. renxkyoko
    Oct 23, 2021 @ 18:07:36

    I’d seen a movie where the moon crushes into earth. It scared me more than all the zombie movies combined. .

    Like

    Reply

    • Mohenjo
      Oct 23, 2021 @ 18:19:19

      I can imagine, let’s hope that won’t happen. Thanks much for your visit!

      Like

      Reply

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