Fortunately, there’s no evidence that the moon is going to self-destruct or collide with another orbiter anytime soon. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, there will also be massive earthquakes, volcanic reactions, and an increase in the temperature of the planet’s core.
What happens to the Earth if the Moon is destroyed?
Let’s also say that the Moon stayed relatively close to where it is now, but when they separated, Luna was pulled into an orbit closer to Earth. Without the Moon, the tides would rise and fall at a much slower rate, about a third of their current fluctuation, says Matt Siegler, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who works on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
If the explosion were weak enough, the debris would re-form into one or more new moons; if it were too strong, there would be nothing left; just the right magnitude, and it would create a ringed system around Earth. When it formed 4.51 billion years ago, only 60 million years after the solar system itself took shape, the Moon was volcanically active, had a crust, mantle and core equal to Earth’s, and was just as susceptible to a meteorite impact or 10,000.
What would happen if the Moon exploded?
Simply put, a fiery shower of lunar debris that could last for thousands of years, wiping out almost all life on Earth’s surface. Over tens of thousands of years, the Earth could tilt beyond 45°, so that most of one hemisphere would face continuously toward the Sun, and the other would be in perpetual darkness. To blow it up, mine shafts would have to be drilled hundreds of miles deep, all over the Moon, and a total of 600 billion of the largest nuclear bombs ever built would have to be dropped down them. Dubois realizes that as each large lunar fragment collides with another, more and more lunar fragments will be created, increasing the likelihood of further collisions.
Freeman’s simulation of the exploding moon is below, with the Earth represented as a large blue dot and the moon as smaller multicolored dots. Finally, and probably most worrisome, Earth’s seasons could change substantially if the Moon were to disappear. Regardless of how the Moon dies, its disintegration would dislodge huge fragments of space rock and iron close to Earth.