Earth’s pull is ‘massaging’ our moon

Posted: September 17, 2015 by oldbrew in climate, Geology, moon, solar system dynamics
Tags: ,

The Moon in front of Earth [credit: NASA]

The Moon in front of Earth [credit: NASA]


Talkshop regular Ian Wilson features this story in his own latest blog post at Astro-Climate-Connection:

Many scientists deny that factors external to the Earth can have a significant impact upon the Earth’s climate yet there is considerable evidence that this indeed the case. Their instincts tell them that they must always look for internal factors, and internal factors alone, to explain the Earth’s climate systems. Most will admit that Moon might have some influence upon the Earth’s climate through the dissipation of its tidal forces in the Earth’s oceans but beyond that they have little time for thinking outside the box.

It is now emerging that those who reject the idea that factors external to the Earth can have a significant influence upon the Earth’s climate are increasingly at odds with the evidence.


One quirky way to show that this is the case is to reverse the argument around. This can be done by asking the question: Is there any evidence to show that the Earth can have a significant influence upon the Moon and nearby planets? If this is indeed the case then would it be so hard to imagine that it might possible for the reverse to happen (in specific cases). One piece of evidence that shows that the Earth can have a significant impact upon external astronomical bodies is the gravitational interaction between the Earth and Venus. Every time the planet Venus passes between the Earth and Sun it presents the same face towards Earth. This happens because the slow retrograde rotation rate of the planet Venus (approximately 243 days) has allowed the Earth’s gravity to nudge Venus’s rotation period into a resonance lock with the Earth’s orbital period.

We now have an addition piece of evidence to support the idea that the Earth can have a significant influence upon the Moon. Thomas et al. 2015 (1) report that imaging by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) has revealed the presence of over 3,000 geological faults known as lobate scarps. Indeed, it has emerged that these globally distributed faults are the most common tectonic land form on the moon.

Initially it was thought that the lobate scarp faults were created by the gradual shrinkage of the Moon’s crust as it cooled. However, an analysis of the orientations of these small scarps has yielded a very surprising result. It shows that the orientation of the fault lines is being influenced by an unexpected source–gravitational tidal forces from Earth.

Smithsonian senior scientist Thomas Watters of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington said that: “There is a pattern in the orientations of the thousands of faults and it suggests something else is influencing their formation, something that’s also acting on a global scale — ‘massaging’ and realigning them.” 

The other forces acting on the moon come not from its interior, but from Earth. These are tidal forces. When the tidal forces are superimposed on the global contraction, the combined stresses should cause predictable orientations of the fault scarps from region to region. “The agreement between the mapped fault orientations and the fault orientations predicted by the modeled tidal and contractional forces is pretty striking,” says Watters.

The fault scarps are very young — so young that they are likely still actively forming today. The team’s modeling shows that the peak stresses are reached when the moon is farthest from Earth in its orbit (at apogee). If the faults are still active, the occurrence of shallow moonquakes related to slip events on the faults may be most frequent when the moon is at apogee. This hypothesis can be tested with a long-lived lunar seismic network.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.

“Earth’s pull is ‘massaging’ our moon.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2015.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150915162512.htm.

Ian Wilson comments: The question now becomes, why is it so hard for scientists to admit that factors external to the Earth could have a significant impact upon the Earth’s climate?

Sourced from Ian Wilson’s website: Astro-Climate-Connection
————————-
H/T Andrew in Suggestions

Comments
  1. oldbrew says:

    In this Talkshop post: https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/miles-mathis-the-physics-behind-the-golden-ratio/
    Miles Mathis linked to a 2010 BBC news report: ‘Is the moon getting smaller?’
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_8930000/newsid_8931900/8931960.stm

    In the Talkshop post (which features a paper by Mathis) he discusses why he thinks this might be so.

    Readers may wish to compare his theory with the ideas (or lack of them) put forward in the ‘Earth massaging’ report of the new science paper.

  2. oldbrew says:

    ‘Ian Wilson comments: The question now becomes, why is it so hard for scientists to admit that factors external to the Earth could have a significant impact upon the Earth’s climate?’

    Here’s part of the problem at least.

    ‘Universities Aggressively Suppressing Other Climate Views And Open Scientific Debate, Says Former NOAA Meteorologist’
    http://notrickszone.com/2015/09/17/universities-aggressively-suppressing-other-climate-views-and-open-scientific-debate-says-former-noaa-meteorologist/

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    Interesting. .. I just put up a posting referencing the Chile quake happening near a major apogee and this article is saying stresses are greatest then.

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/fed-does-nothing-chile-has-an-8-x-quake-carly-trumps-trump-and-the-world-goes-on/

    I note in passing that we are near a major lunar apogee.

    http://www.fourmilab.ch/earthview/pacalc.html

    The first line is from the apogee column, the second line from the perigee column. The ‘–‘ indicating a major (furthest) distance from moon to earth (that 406,465 km) and with a fast approaching major perigee (the line with ‘++’ and 356,876 km distance.

    Sep 14 11:29 406465 km — N+1d 4h
    Sep 28 1:47 356876 km ++ F- 1h

    So we’ve got a real sling fest of shift of lunar distance going on right now

    Sort of thing to make a fellow wonder…

  4. oldbrew says:

    ‘It shows that the orientation of the fault lines is being influenced by an unexpected source–gravitational tidal forces from Earth.’

    It shouldn’t be unexpected when we know Earth’s tides are driven by lunar effects, and the Earth is a much more massive body than the Moon. The Earth-Moon effects should be greater than the Moon-Earth ones, based on difference in mass.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_2015_lunar_eclipse

  5. oldbrew says: September 18, 2015 at 8:55 am

    (‘It shows that the orientation of the fault lines is being influenced by an unexpected source–gravitational tidal forces from Earth.’)

    “It shouldn’t be unexpected when we know Earth’s tides are driven by lunar effects, and the Earth is a much more massive body than the Moon. The Earth-Moon effects should be greater than the Moon-Earth ones, based on difference in mass”

    Hummmn! Not necessarily! With these two interacting gravitational fields The only mass that moves is the mass that can move, the least constrained!! Earth’s oceans are very much radially constrained (weight), but little tangential constraint. The Moon’s scarps seem to be initiated by Lunar shrinkage but still affected by external radial and tangential Earth gravitational force as the scarps develop. The least constrained mass about is the Earth’s upper atmosphere (stratosphere and above), because in this realm, Earth’s gravity is not expressed as weight but rather as an exponentially decreasing pressure/density ratio. This isentropic exponent (troposphere 1.4) approaches unity at the tropopause!!! Atmospheric mean free path goes from 5 microns at the surface to 5 meters in the stratosphere. Huge outward Lunar bulge in stratosphere, rivalling that developed from Solar EMR transfer, which seems to be limited to the troposphere with its linear lapse rate. How to actually measure that Lunar puppy is another matter! Will such “attraction” change pressure, density, or temperature? Why? Earth’s gravity does not change such near the Moon! Earth is changing the “location” of the moon! Does the Moon change the “location” of Earth’s atmosphere in a similar way? How many current TB threads does that cover?
    All the best! -will-

  6. oldbrew says: September 18, 2015 at 8:55 am

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_2015_lunar_eclipse

    If Earth’s “albedo” is the measured “all” of insolation not absorbed, How can the Moon be visible in a total Lunar eclipse? Are your “atmospheric physicists” ALL that incompetent?😦

  7. oldbrew says:

    From the Miles Mathis link (1st comment):

    ‘We know that the Moon is being squashed more in front, and we have known it for decades. Current schematics of the Moon clearly show a deformation or obliteration heaviest nearest the Earth. The nearside crust has been almost completely blasted away, with the heaviest blasting centered at the nearest point. The nearest part of the Moon IS being squashed the most’

  8. hunter says:

    Tidal influence of planets on their moons is pretty well known. Jupiter’s tidal influence is supposed to explain the extreme activity of Io’s volcanic activity.
    http://news.discovery.com/space/jupiter-moon-io-unleashes-cataclysmic-eruptions-140804.htm
    So even though Io is tidally locked, the stresses due to Jupiter’s mass and large gravity field are still high enough to drive what is believed to be the most active tectonic dynamics in the Solar System.
    As the moon’s rate rotation now matches its orbital cycle around Earth, there is not much stress on Luna anymore.
    http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/moon/tidal.html

    I can only imagine what Io was like in its youthful period.

  9. hunter says:

    ….ahhh, the reason for the extreme heating of IO’s interior is not so simple. The influence of the other 3 Galileo moons have deformed Io’s orbit into a pronounced ellipse, and additionally add tidal stress to Io.
    http://solarviews.com/eng/io.htm
    Very interesting.

    The idea of lunar gravity effects on fault lines is very interesting. Thanks for posting on this.

  10. oldbrew says:

    hunter’s second link says:

    ‘The side of the Moon unseen from the Earth is called the far side. One of the discoveries of the first Lunar orbiters is that the far side has a very different appearance than the near side.’

    See my previous comment for a possible explanation.

  11. tchannon says:

    What is the mystery?
    Stress and probably fatigue fracture of rock from sustained force, the moon is locked facing the earth, stress is unidirectional. This implies the dark side will be similarly cracked.

    Little is known about the moon, people being what they are, no little green men, ignore. The moon history probably included going into lock. It seems a more or less dead body, cold, and therefore the rock if it is crystalline will be very prone to fragile fracture and less in the way of creep.
    Better back memory up. This will do

    Mechanism of creep in brittle rock
    Scholz, C. H. show affiliations
    Journal of Geophysical Research, Volume 73, Issue 10, pp. 3295-3302
    Published in May 1968
    DOI: 10.1029/JB073i010p03295
    A review of the experimental evidence suggests that creep in brittle rock at low temperature is due to time-dependent cracking. A transient creep law is derived from the mechanism of time-dependent cracking in an inhomogeneous brittle material. The behavior is described as a Markov process with a stationary transition probability that is obtained from experimental observations of static fatigue in glasses. The model is compared with experimental observations and found to predict the observed stress dependence of creep.

  12. stenies2012 says:

    earthquake-predict.blogspot.gr

  13. oldbrew says:

    Far side and near side of Moon – photo comparison:

    ‘Why is the Far Side of the Moon so different from the Near Side?’
    http://space.stackexchange.com/questions/2631/why-is-the-far-side-of-the-moon-so-different-from-the-near-side

  14. Slightly off topic. Just was looking at the SOI daily figures and noticed that there was a cycle of about 14 days. Thought it could be due to the position of the moon which effects tides. So looked at the tides for Darwin -can download daily tide data for this year and last few years (SOI based on pressure difference between Darwin and Tahiti) Seems like the tides do have a similar cycle and that is related to the position of the moon. Has anyone looked at the relation of SOI/ El Nino to tides/ position of moon (and other planets)?
    I will search for Tahiti tides and then look at changes.

  15. cementafriend says: September 20, 2015 at 2:07 am

    “Slightly off topic. Just was looking at the SOI daily figures and noticed that there was a cycle of about 14 days. Thought it could be due to the position of the moon which effects tides. So looked at the tides for Darwin -can download daily tide data for this year and last few years (SOI based on pressure difference between Darwin and Tahiti) Seems like the tides do have a similar cycle and that is related to the position of the moon. Has anyone looked at the relation of SOI/ El Nino to tides/ position of moon (and other planets)? I will search for Tahiti tides and then look at changes.”

    Just the flip side! The Moon has even a greater effect on Earth things not anchored down. The oceans and all parts of our atmosphere. The recent work of Paul Vaughn and Ian Wilson, trying to figure how to measure such may be rewarding! To me it looks like double sideband suppressed carrier modulation of Earth’s position, with lotsa noise! The sidebands are +/- deviations of some hard to detect suppressed Lunar frequency. Such modulation can cause abrupt flips in phase motion of the loosely coupled Ocean and Atmosphere!
    Of course all incompetent ocean/Atmospheric physicists are busy writing demands to the President, that all actually trying to learn what is going on, be arrested, jailed, and silenced.
    On the bright side. This CAGW fraud, may end up silencing the so called scientific, academic, abject, intentional; incompetence and lack of integrity! Way long overdue! Perhaps soime earthlings can save themselves from the already monumental, but still growing STUPIDITY
    All the best! -will-

  16. oldbrew says:

    cementafriend says: ‘Just was looking at the SOI daily figures and noticed that there was a cycle of about 14 days. Thought it could be due to the position of the moon which effects tides.’

    Half the lunar month = ~13.66 days

  17. oldbrew says:

    Moonquakes unearthed in data from 1970s Apollo mission
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28161-moonquakes-unearthed-in-data-from-1970s-apollo-mission/

    ‘Knapmeyer-Endrun and her team developed an algorithm that, given just one example of a type of moonquake, can identify quakes with the same rough pattern. Similar programs were first developed for speech recognition algorithms.’

    Quakes spotted

    ‘The team ran the program on data from the seismometer left on the moon by the Apollo 16 mission in 1972, which stopped communicating with Earth in 1977. The algorithm found 210 quakes that had escaped earlier notice in only a small set of the data.’

  18. Yes Oldbrew, it would appear that the difference between high and low tide at Darwin is smallest (about 2m) at the midpoint of the lunar cycle. It seems that the daily SOI readings also have the same cycle at present being close to zero at the midpoint of the cycle. At a glance the largest tide difference I note at Darwin is close to 6.5m giving a daily SOI of around -27. I would not have thought that 4.5 m of sea height difference would be enough to change the atmospheric pressure.
    However, I would be surprised if no one has looked at it.

  19. cementafriend says: September 21, 2015 at 1:05 am

    “Yes Oldbrew, it would appear that the difference between high and low tide at Darwin is smallest (about 2m) at the midpoint of the lunar cycle. It seems that the daily SOI readings also have the same cycle at present being close to zero at the midpoint of the cycle. At a glance the largest tide difference I note at Darwin is close to 6.5m giving a daily SOI of around -27. I would not have thought that 4.5 m of sea height difference would be enough to change the atmospheric pressure.
    However, I would be surprised if no one has looked at it.”

    CaF,
    Many have looked at “it”, whatever ‘it’ may be. All serious ‘lookers’ cannot figure whether to scratch ‘watch’, or wind ‘ass’! This ‘atmosphere’ is indeed that complex!
    This atmosphere is described as a thin compressible fluid, entirely contained between one inner incompressible surface and the local expressions of ‘gravity’ on that compressible fluid. This atmosphere itself has no weight or spontaneous accelerations in any direction. This compressible fluid within Earth’s GF appears to maintain such equilibrium; pressure, density, temperature, at near the speed of sound in that local compressible fluid. What do you observe, please?

  20. oldbrew says:

    This is standard stuff surely?

    ‘In the lunar month, the highest tides occur roughly every 14 days, at the new and full moons, when the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun are in alignment. These highest tides in the lunar cycle are called spring tides.’
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_tide

  21. Oldbrew you seemed to be missing the point of my question. I am thinking about the effect of the moon, sun, and maybe other planets on the SOI and atmospheric pressures.
    Will yes, the atmosphere is a compressible fluid which has a surface under it and is affected by gravity. However, the Troposphere is something like 15km high at Darwin so a 4 or 5 m change of surface due to tides should not change the pressure much. But there could be a combination of factors such as a change in the height of the Troposphere by several km, maybe additional cloud which increases the density etc. I am just asking if there has been any research linking the change in pressures with anything such as position of planets. I know that Indigo Jones (http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/jones-inigo-owen-539) who had an observatory just north of Brisbane used the position of planets and the moon to make long range forecasts. He used to forecast El Nino (related to dry and droughts) and La Nina ( related to rain and floods) effects (but those terms were not used in his days). But I do not think he ever published his data -I believe he measured pressure and obtained readings from Darwin and Tahiti. The establishment did not give Indigo Jones or his follower Lennox Walker much credit.

  22. oldbrew says:

    OK I think I see your point now. Some overlap with the ‘tropopause as climate metric’ thread possibly?

  23. Ian Wilson says:

    Cementafriend,

    You might be interested in my blog site:

    Evidence that Strong El Nino Events are Triggered by the Moon – First of five part series http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/evidence-that-strong-el-nino-events-are.html

    El Nino Events are Caused by Extreme Perigean Spring Tides
    http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/historical-el-nino-events-and-extreme.html

    El Niños and Extreme Proxigean Spring Tides
    http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/el-ninos-and-extreme-proxigean-spring.html

    Do you think that Moon might have something to do with the onset of El Ninos?
    http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/do-you-think-that-moon-might-have.html

    IS THIS A PLANETARY SIGNATURE IN OUR CLIMATE SYSTEM?
    http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/is-this-planetary-signature-in-our.html

  24. tallbloke says:

    Ian: you seem to have transposed conjunction/opposition in that last link:

    “Superimposed on this plot are the times of Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction (when these two planets are on opposite sides of the Sun) which are spaced by 19.86 years, and the times of Jupiter-Saturn Opposition (when the two planets are aligned on the same side of the Sun), also spaced by 19.86 years. “

  25. Ian Wilson says:

    Rog,

    I am using the formal definition that applies when a planet is viewed from another planet that is closer to the Sun.

    Earth is closer to the Sun than Mars. When, the Earth and Mars are on the same side of the Sun then Mars is in OPPOSITION as viewed from the Earth. When the Earth and Mars are on the opposite side of the Sun, then Mars is in (Superior) CONJUNCTION as viewed from the Earth.

    Just replace the words Earth with Jupiter and Mars with Saturn and you will see that I have used the correct terminology.

  26. Ian Wilson says:

    I believe that the terms are defined in relation to to the observer. If you were just above Jupiter’s cloud top, Saturn would be observed to be in CONJUNCTION with the Sun when it was on the opposite side of the Sun with respect to Jupiter. Similarly, Saturn would be in OPPOSITION with the Sun (as see by a Jupiter observer) when Saturn was on the same side of the Sun as Jupiter.