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Old 20-03-2011, 04:54   #16
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Re: The Moon 30,000 miles nearer to us Today!

Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
In the long run, the moon has been getting farther away from Earth. It had been much closer, and eventually the moon will leave its orbit of the Earth.
Yes and no.
Due to tidal friction, the Moon's orbit (r = 384,000 km) is indeed getting larger, at a rate of about 3.8 centimeters per year; however the moon won't move away from the earth forever.
Since it's the effect of tidal bulges on the earth's surface pulling on the moon that cause its orbit to increase, so as the moon moves farther away, these forces get smaller, and its orbit won't increase as fast.

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