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The Moon is drifting away from Earth and it’s having a major impact on time

The Moon is drifting away from Earth and it’s having a major impact on time

The distance between the Earth and the moon is getting bigger

Scientists have found that the Earth and the Moon are drifting further apart, which is having a big effect on time.

The distance between Earth and the Moon has always believed to have remained at a constant distance of 384,400 km, which equates to 238,855 miles.

Yet it's now been found that it could be increasing, according to data from NASA.

The connection between the Earth and the moon has been slowly breaking down over years, resulting in our planet spinning more slowly.

The moon is thought to be further away from Earth than ever before.

In the new study from researchers, it's been found that the celestial body and our planet used to be much closer together. They also found that the closer we are to the moon, the shorter the days on Earth are.

This means that as the Moon moves further away, it takes a little longer to complete a full day’s rotation.

At one point, scientists think a day on Earth 1.4 billion years ago would have lasted for just 18 hours. This is much shorter compared to the 24 hours we class as a typical day.

Professor Stephen Meyers, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explained: "As the moon moves away, the Earth is like a spinning figure skater who slows down as they stretch their arms out. One of our ambitions was to use Astrochronology to tell time in the most distant past, to develop very ancient geological time scales.

"We want to be able to study rocks that are billions of years old in a way that is comparable to how we study modern geologic processes."

The days on Earth are getting longer according to the latest data from NASA.

Astrochronology is the method of linking astronomical theory with geological observation. Professor Meyers, the co-author of the study, worked with his team to look back at the Earth’s past and recreate what he believes the solar system used to look like and how it differs from what we have now.

Last year, Professor Meyers studied sediments from a 90 million-year-old rock formation, which led to discovering the Earth’s climate cycles.

From the findings, we now know that the moon is currently receding from the Earth at a rate of 1.5 inches (3.82 centimetres) every year making days get longer and longer. Scientists have also concluded that the moon once would have been so close that the Earth’s gravitational interactions would have ripped apart the moon.

At one point a day on Earth was thought to be 18 hours due to how close it was to the moon.

Professor Alberto Malinvero, co-author of the study said: "It was exciting because, in a way, you dream of this all the time; I was a solution looking for a problem."

However, it is important to note that scientists know that the moon itself is 4.5 billion years old and while the research is new it can be that calculations are inaccurate.

The data is clear that days on Earth are getting longer, so you're not alone in thinking that Monday is absolutely dragging...

Featured Image Credit: John M Lund Photography Inc/chrisboy2004