Days on Earth used to only last 19 hours, in sharp contrast to the 24-hour cycle we now experience because of the planet’s revolution on its own axis.

Two geophysicists found that during the “boring billion,” the Earth’s rotation slowed down because of less tectonic activity and a delicate balance of gravitational forces.Due to its closer proximity to Earth, the Moon played a vital influence during this time.

Its gravitational pull was stronger. The Moon steadily drained the energy from the Earth’s rotation, raising itself into a higher orbit. In the past, scientists had believed that the Moon had been gradually lengthening Earth’s days without our knowledge. Using cyclostratigraphy data, which documents astronomical-driven climatic shifts, including Earth’s wobble and axial tilt, researchers delved into the past.

Researchers also speculate that heightened sunlight absorption during this period fostered greater activity for photosynthetic bacteria, providing favorable conditions for the evolution of life.

Numerous celestial bodies, including not only the Moon but also other planets, have an impact on how Earth moves through space. The rotation of the Earth is affected by fluctuations in these celestial bodies.

At present, days are lengthening by 0.000015 seconds annually. Researchers liken the relationship between the Earth’s rotation and the position of the Moon to that of an extended figure skater spinning.

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