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The Moon continues to spin away from the Earth, at the rate of 3.78cm (1.48in) per year, at about the same speed at which our fingernails grow.

The migration of the Moon away from the Earth is mainly due to the action of the Earth's tides.

The Moon is kept in orbit by the gravitational force that the Earth exerts on it, but the Moon also exerts a gravitational force on our planet and this causes the movement of the Earth's oceans to form a tidal bulge. [1]

As the Earth's rotation slows down, our whole planet may start to slowly wobble and this will have a devastating effect on our seasons

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Many physicists considered the effects of tides on the Earth-Moon system. However, George Howard Darwin (Charles Darwin's son) was the first person to work out, in a mathematical way, how the Moon's orbit would evolve due to tidal friction, in the late 19th century. He is usually credited with the invention of the modern theory of tidal evolution. [2] 


  1. bbc.com - 1 February 2011
  2. curious.astro.cornell.edu - 28 January 2019
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