Cool question! We sometimes forget about what
that big rock in the sky does for the earth, but
it is incredibly important.
The short answer (and most important thing):
The moon has stabilized life on Earth. If
the moon did not exist, life on Earth would most
likely be totally different.
Long answer: The most accepted theory
on how the moon got here was that a large rock
smashed into the earth (about 10% the size of our
planet) when it was still in its molten stage (~95
millions year ago). This knocked off a large part
of the earth which is the moon. Why do they say
this? The elemental composition on the
moon and Earth are incredibly similar, which
is too unlikely to be a coincidence.
The moon has a large impact on our
tides, which is due to the gravitational pull
of the moon. As the moon circles the earth, the
moons gravity pulls on bodies of water that are
closest to the moon, causing high tides there,
which makes those a quarter away around the earth
become low. Due to the Inertia effect of
water, tides on the other side of the earth
also rise. If there was no moon, the tides
would not be this predictable.
Finally, due the moon stabilizing some of the
"wobble" of the earth's spin (which also
ends up slowing the spin of the earth down just a
little bit, which also makes the earth tilt
consistently a certain way), the moon has
stabilized the seasons on earth. Over
billions of years, this kind of effect is thought
to have enabled life on earth to develop the way
it has. If we didn't have the moon, who is
to say what life on earth would look like...?
Here is a great video showing the simulation
of our moon formation:
Hope that helps!
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