Every so often, a scientist comes forward to warn that something from outer space is probably going to smash into Earth and destroy it. Oftentimes it’s an asteroid, but in this case, the scientist says it will be the Moon, and he’s making his prediction so far in advance that we’ll never know if he is correct. He says the Moon will come crashing down onto Earth in about 65 billion years – if, of course, it even still exists then.
Moon to destroy Earth, but not soon
University of Idaho scientist Jason Barnes told Forbes contributor Bruce Dorminey that gradually over time, the Moon will creep closer and closer to Earth while remaining in orbit around it. Scientists estimate that the Moon is spinning away from our planet at a variable rate of about 3.8 centimeters annually, at least for now. However, he also said that the rotation of the Earth will gradually slow down until it finally reaches the same rate of the Moon’s orbital period.
The planetary scientist described the “final end-state of tidal evolution in the Earth-Moon system” as the “inspiral of the Moon and its subsequent collision and accretion onto Earth,” Dorminey reports. However, scientists admit that it’s very difficult to predict when this will happen. Because the Moon has been receding from Earth since it was formed, they claim. The ocean tide on earth have an impact on the Moon and its recession, so as Earth goes through various phases, scientists believe it will impact the rate at which the Moon is receding.
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Earth might not even be around then
Of course there’s no point in worrying about this right now, as it’s unlikely any of us will still be living on the planet in 65 billion years, given the average lifespan of a human and the lack of technologies such as a fountain of youth or a machine that can cryogenically freeze us. And if you’re worried about your great-to-the-nth power grandchildren, neither Earth, nor the Moon may even exist in 65 billion years.
If you are a professional worrier though, you might be more concerned about the Sun’s Red Giant Phase, which Barnes says will come in about 6 billion years. At that time, he says the Sun will be depleted of “nuclear fuel,” and then its core will burn out as it becomes a white dwarf star. Its outer layers are then expected to expand even beyond where Earth is currently orbiting.