So, could we finally have a future where Earth no longer has a moon?
Even with the current high rate of decline, the Moon is unlikely to leave Earth entirely. A catastrophic demise will likely intervene long before that happens In about 5-10 billion years. Humanity is likely to be, too Exhausted long before then.
In the short term, however, humanity It itself may play a role in lengthening the days a bit more By reducing the amount of water trapped in glaciers and ice caps due to melting caused by climate change.
“The ice basically suppresses the tides,” says Waltham, noting that about 600-900 million years ago, when our planet was thought to have entered a very cold period known as Earth Snowball, There was a significant slowdown in the rate of lunar waning. However, the impact is difficult to predict, as some of this will be counteracted by the rebound of land masses as the weight of ice sheets is lifted off of them, and other complications.
Theoretically, the next group of astronauts to travel to the Moon with NASA’s Artemis program might be able to say that they viewed their home planet from farther away than their predecessors in the Apollo program 60 years ago (despite the point they reached during the trip). The Moon’s elliptical orbit around the Earth probably determines this further – the distance between the two nearest and farthest points varies depending on 43,000 km every 29 days).
For the rest of us, our lives are too short to notice picoseconds being added to the length of each passing day. If you blink, you’ll miss it.
If you like this story, Subscribe to the bbc.com weekly newslettercalled “The Essential List” – a carefully selected collection of stories from the BBC futureAnd cultureAnd work lifeAnd Travel And early Delivered to your inbox every Friday.
“Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver.”