Does the Earth's Moon Contribute to Life on Earth?

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The Earth's moon contributes to life on Earth in a number of really important ways. Find out about how the Earth's moon contributes to life on Earth with help from an experienced education professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: About Astrophysics & Outer Space
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Hi, my name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist and this is, "Does the Earth's moon contribute to life on Earth?" The answer is yes. The actual moon has helped for human life to evolve and also animal life and plants and every form of life form to evolve and there are two main ways in that the moon has really really helped us and the first one is with climate. Now it's thought to believe that without the moon and the tides, we wouldn't have had that gravitational heating that has made the Ice Ages and all those drastic climate changes as extreme. Now why would we like something to be as extreme? Generally when there is an Ice Age, there is a lot of migration and life tends to evolve right after, after the Ice Age, the savannahs drew plant life really really blossomed and new species started to form. So it's a really really good way to contribute to actual evolution. So that's one way in which climate has really really helped the evolution of life. Now the second thing is that we have needed stable orbits. If we didn't have the moon because the Earth is tilted about 23 degrees from the orbital plane with the sun, if we didn't have the moon, this spin could have fluctuated up to like 90 degrees which means we would have really unstable orbits which would have caused really unstable seasons and we wouldn't have the evolution of seasons and seasons has really helped you know evolve certain species in plant life. So seasons and this is due to gravitational stability. And these are the two main ways in that the moon has really helped life on Earth. My name is Eylene Pirez and I'm an astrophysicist and this is, "Does the moon contribute to life on Earth?"

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