Has the Moon been moving away from planet Earth from the beginning?  Also, does it keep moving away faster of has the rate always been about the same?

The gravitational interactions of Earth and Moon have been acting from the beginning to slow the rotation of the Earth and increase the distance from Earth to Moon.  The changes depend on dissipation of tidal energy on the Earth, however, so the rater has varied as the configuration of continents and depth of the ocean have changed over geological time.

David Morrison

NLSI Interim Director

September 14, 2006

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Water ice and other frozen volatiles are to be found in many shadowed craters near the lunar poles.

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