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Without the Moon, Would There Be Life on Earth?

The ocean tides mirror life itself. Their ebb and flow pay homage to the cyclic nature of the cosmos along even the most secluded seashores. But is life itself also ultimately a fluke of the tides?

If so, life may ultimately owe its origins to our serendipitously large moon. The sun and wind also drive the ocean's oscillations, but it is the moon's gravitational tug that is responsible for the lion's share of this predictable tidal flux.

Our current Earth–moon system, according to the prevailing theory of lunar formation, reflects our solar system's early game of planetary billiards, when colliding planetary embryos created entirely new versions of themselves—in the case of our own planet, a disproportionately large natural satellite in close orbit.
 
 

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