Are we already celestial engineers?

The cosmos at our fingertips.
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Are we already celestial engineers?

Post by starbrush » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:34 pm

We're told that tidal action gives momentum to the Moon, thus aiding its recession; and that one day it will be too far away to produce total solar eclipses. Ice melt seems to contribute to the recession by increasing the tidal sloshing. Scientific American (June 14 2010) has an article on this at ... -solstice/
There's a deeper implication: if mankind is causing ice melt changes then, in a tiny way, amid all the noise, we might have become celestial engineers (or mechanics). But then, other living organisms might also have such a role, e.g. bacteria producing greenhouse gases (or fixing them).
Life's sphere of influence extending beyond its home? Quite a thought!

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Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
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Re: Are we already celestial engineers?

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:59 am

"Engineering" implies knowledge and intent. If we're moving the Moon, it's not a voluntary action, and therefore not what I'd call "engineering", any more than a forest fire caused by pine beetles killing trees can be attributed to insect engineers.

Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory