Without the Moon, there would be no life on Earth, French scientists claim.
The gravitational push-pull of the Moon on iron deep inside Earth keeps it hot and molten. And a liquid core is needed to generate a magnetic field, which forms a protective shield against blasts of particles from the Sun.
Denis Andrault from Blaise Pascal University in Clermont-Ferrand, France, and colleagues propose the Earth's heated interior should have dropped by about 3,000 ºC over the past four billion years or so, but has instead remained almost constant – all because of the Moon.
Their story, published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, begins around 4.3 billion years ago, or 60 million years after the Earth's birth. (COSMOS Magazine)