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The Moon's Gradual Retreat is Lengthening Earth Days

07 June 2018

The Article from Moon is making days longer on Earth. That's an illusion. A new study has found that the moon has been bringing us longer days for more than a billion years now. The way skater slows down his spinning speed by stretching his arms out, the spinning speed of Earth is slowing down as the moon is distancing itself from the planet.

Using astrochronology, scientists are able to study Earth's climate and how it related to other objects in the Solar System, dating back hundreds of millions of years.

Milankovitch cycles collectively refer to three dominant cycles of variations in the Earth's eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession.

Earth's movement in space is influenced by the astronomical bodies that exert a force on it. These cycles determine Earth's climate rhythms.

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At the current rate of around 3.82 centimeters each year, every century adds 2 milliseconds to an Earth day.

According to their calculations, more than a billion years ago, when there were barely signs of life as we know it, a single day on Earth lasted just a little over 18 hours.

Prof. Meyers and his team are seeking better ways of knowing what our planetary neighbours were doing billions of years ago. The distance from our planet to the moon, scientists say, is one major reason for the extra six hours we have today.

This is partly because the moon used to be much closer, changing the way the Earth spins on its axis, and is moving away from the planet.

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This result is an outcome based on a new statistical method of astrochronology by combining the astronomical and geological concepts and its objective was to study the Earth's geologic past to understand the ancient climate change phenomena. However, it is a fact that the moon is about 4.5 billion years old- similar in age to the Earth and the Solar System.

They then tested the combined approach on two stratigraphic rock layers: the 1.4 billion-year-old Xiamaling Formation from Northern China and a 55 million-year-old record from Walvis Ridge, in the southern Atlantic Ocean.

For those who want the day to have more hours, a group of american geoscientists have good news for you: the days on earth are actually getting longer.

Looking to find a better way to account for the motion of our planetary neighbors, Meyers teamed up Alberto Malinverno, Lamont Research Professor at Columbia, and combined a statistical method created to deal with uncertainty, called TimeOpt, with astronomical theory, geologic data and a sophisticated statistical approach called Bayesian inversion.

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So, Meyers and his colleagues had to find a different way to account for what happened in the solar system billions of years ago.

The Moon's Gradual Retreat is Lengthening Earth Days