The Moon is a celestial object that we all take for granted, but not many people have the time to think about the part that the Moon played in life on Earth.
The formation of the Moon was a violent event in the early history of our planet, when soon after it was created from dust and debris circling the young Sun, it was involved in a huge collision with another newly formed planet. This other planet was nearly the size of the proto Earth and they both joined up to form the Earth we know today. But a ring of molten rock was thrown up during the collision and this formed the Moon.
At that time, the Moon was 10 times closer to us than it is now and the tidal effect was massive. This gravitational influence between the Earth and the Moon is of critical importance in the creation of the planet we now call home. The first effect was to slow down the rotation of the Earth from six to 24 hours, and to stabilise the axis of our planet and this enabled our climate to remain relatively stable over hundreds of millions of years.
When the oceans were formed on our planet, the Moon’s tidal influence caused the rise and fall in sea level that we are so familiar with today. But this was fundamental in encouraging sea creatures to leave the ocean and to colonise the dry land 500 million years ago. In fact, the Moon is largely responsible for the geology and the biology of the Earth as we know it today. In that sense we owe our very existence as human beings to the Moon as our eternal companion in space.
The Moon has always held a place of fascination in our earthbound lives, provoking the imagination to escape its limits and, as we look towards the sky, to try to understand our inner selves. Monuments and shrines have been built to the Moon and calendars follow its motion; ancient Gods and Goddesses mimic the Moon’s gentle pull on the forces of life. Myths bring us back in touch with ourselves and can never be fully replaced by science.
In this sense, it would be difficult to completely discount these Moon’s myths as many people believe in them and maybe this allows us to move forward to a better understanding of ourselves, and the universe around us.