Q & BA Episode 5: Spin Doctor

Q & BA Episode 5: Spin Doctor

Q & BA Episode 5: Spin Doctor

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
March 4 2007 8:27 PM

Q & BA Episode 5: Spin Doctor

Hey, let's take the Moon out for a spin... but we're too late! It already does spin!

And I can prove it. Just watch Q & BA Episode 5: Spin Doctor and you'll see how.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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Watch it right here, right now!

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Once again, I'm trying something new. I've been asked to have two separate feeds; one for audio and one for video. Let's see if this works!

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Show notes

The Question:

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The question was sent in by Mark Tillotson, of Emmaus, PA:

What would we experience if the moon was not 'locked' in it's rotational period with the earth?

Would we see anything different on Earth? Would the tides be different? Would the lunar recession be different (moving away from Earth faster or slower)?

Images and Links

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The essay I wrote about tides, the Moon's rotation/revolution lock, and its recession can be found on my Misconceptions page.

The lunar phases image is from the amazing Lunar and Planetary Observation and CCD imaging website of Antònio Cidadão; specifically, his animations page.

The far side of the Moon image is courtesy NASA and the Galileo probe.

I bookmarked the site with the revolver image so I could link it here, but I appear to have lost it (it was a public site, like from a museum or government). Oh well. Don't shoot me.