Earth's magnetic field and the moon?

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What can possibly go on between Earth and Moon at this distance?

The distance between Earth's center and Moon's center is 384403 kilometers (238856.950 miles). With no atmosphere, weak gravity and no life on it, Moon seems like a floating dead rock to us. It's like time has stopped on it, everything remains in it's place for decades. Who knows how long Neil Armstrong's footprints will stay there? Unless some freaky alien guys mess them up and steal the American flag, that is. On the other hand, the flag may have been blown away by the blast of the astronauts ascending back into space. We'll know in the following decades, i suppose, as NASA is planning to return man to the Moon, maybe even establish an outpost there. But, back on topic, how does Earth affect Moon at this huge distance? The phenomenon is called "MAGNETOTAIL".

Earth's Magnetosphere

In the above picture you can see the whole Earth's magnetosphere. The magnetotail is the right side of the ovally-shaped magnetic field. Believe it or not, it influences objects even beyond the Moon. You probably already know that Earth's magnetic field comes from a molten dynamo right at the planet's core. What you may not know, however, is that the magnetic field extends way into space, but is blown away by powerful rays. If i understood correctly, the magnetotail appears in the form of an oval because the plasma streaming from the Sun at a 400km/s speed kind of shapes it in this way. Like blowing on a burning candle, the flame will lean towards the direction you are blowing. Sort of the same, yet really different.

So, if the magnetotail is shaped like an oval, the Moon passes through it once in a while. Three days before it's full, to be exact, and it takes it six days to exit. During that period, a lot of crazy ( for a dead planet) things can happen. Electrons from the magnetotail give the Moon a negative charge. During daytime UV photons (coming from the Sun) keep electron levels to a minimum, but when it gets dark, the electrons accumulate. If an astronaut were to walk on the Moon during this period, he would gather a lot of charge. Any sudden discharge would be unpleasant, to say the least. The electrons can also push Moon dust away from the surface, making things foggy for astronauts. And as if that wasn't enough, the dust could start flying from the negatively charged night-side to the weakly-negative day-side, causing a moondust-storm.

Much of this is speculation, because no-one has been on the Moon during a magnetotail period. But with all these phenomenons, like dust storms, floating objects and electrically-charged people (like tesla troopers from red alert 2), who would want to try? NASA will have to look into this if they want to set up an outpost on the Moon. Wouldn't want the equipment flying away into the abyss because of electrons, would you?

Are we alone in the universe? Could be.

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A range of theoretical habitable zones with stars of different mass (our solar system in middle). Near the top: Epsilon Reticuli (star), ε Reticuli b and its (hypothetical) satellites. ε Reticuli Ab is almost certainly a gas giant but rocky satellites may be potentially Earth-like. Near the bottom: Gliese 581 c, a potentially habitable Earth-like extrasolar planet. Scientists say that intelligent life on other planets is very unlikely.

To understand why, think about Earth. The first "true" human civilization was created by the Sumerians, with Eridu as the first city, built around 6000 BC. Sure, cavemen hunted in packs during the stone age, but these were people capable of communicating with each other via language and unique hieroglyphs. This was the product of millions of years of evolution. Signs of the first life on Earth date back to 4 billions of years BC and scientists predict that Earth has around 1 billion more before getting cooked to a crisp by the good Sun. So, in a timescale that big, humans play a really small part, but we are intelligent beings that had to overcome different steps of evolution in order to get to where we are today.

What researchers say is that a species has little chances to overcome the "critical" evolutionary steps, essential for further development. Professor Watson of University of East Anglia thinks that our view on the world is different, as we became an intelligent species late in Earth's life (after 4 billion years). Thus we think that we evolved by luck and think that other species on other habitable planets have the same chances as us. Professor Watson says that there are 4 essential steps we went through to evolve, and they are:

- the emergence of single-celled bacteria.

- creation of complex cells.

- specialized cells(muscle, nerve, etc.) allowing complex life forms.

- intelligent life, uniting into civilizations and capable of speach.

Prof. Watson's mathematical model, taking a 10 percent chance of each of the steps happening into account, calculated that the chance of intelligent life evolving over 4 billion years is 0.01 percent. Oh and, don't worry. These are just models, and besides, with a universe that big, maybe 0.01 isn't too bad. And don't forget, this was all about INTELLIGENT life that could be watching us right now just like Hubble is watching the skies. Primitive organisms may still exist in other habitable planets.