Evolution of the moon

Evolution of the moon

Why do we need the moon?

Check out NASA's brilliant video showing how the moon has evolved into what we see at night.

Our moon was formed 4.5 billion years ago, when a Mars-sized object crashed into Earth. This collision threw clouds of debris far into space, which clumped together to create the moon.

Craters on the moon were formed by erupting volcanoes and giant asteroid collisions, shaping the way the moon looks today.

More than just a pretty lunar face

The moon is more than just a pretty object in the night sky. It has a huge impact on our life on Earth. Without the moon, life on Earth may not have evolved.


The gravitational pull of the moon causes tides. In tidal areas, plants and animals spend some of the time in water and some of the time out of water. Scientists think that tidal areas were crucial for the evolution of animals and plants that live on land.

Tilting Earth

The Earth is tilted at 23.5 degrees on its axis. Without the moon, the Earth would wobble violently. These shifts in the angle of tilt of the Earth would lead to rapid changes in the Earth's climate.

The moon stabilises the Earth's tilt. The current tilt of the Earth leads to cold polar climates and warm equatorial climates with a wide range in between. This stable climate allows many different species to evolve. Rapid changes in climate would cause some, if not all, species to be wiped out.

Are you mad for the moon? Try our quiz and see how much you know about our satellite!

I'm sorry, it appears you do not have flash installed.

Curriculum information