Energy to change a month

The Global Flood did more than change the length of the day. It changed the length of the month, or the period of the moon. Is that even feasible? Yes, once we know the Flood produced enough nuclear energy to eject three percent of the earth’s mass into space. Much of that material cost the moon enough of its energy to drop it into a lower orbit.

What is a month?

Walter T. Brown, Jr., who proposed the Hydroplate Theory of the Global Flood, calculates here how the month changed.

A month, or “moonth,” is the period of the orbit of the moon around the earth. Astronomers speak of six kinds of month. The two most relevant are:

  • The sidereal month (from the Latin sidus, sideris a star) is how long the moon takes to make one orbit and appear at the same point in relation to the fixed stars.
  • The synodic month is how long the moon takes to make one orbit and appear at the same point in relation to the sun.

The sidereal and synodic months would be roughly proportional. (One may safely assume such a thing for a first-order guess.)

We know two values for the synodic month. Before the Flood, it was 30 days. Today it is 29.531 days.

A month depends on the semimajor axis of the moon’s orbit, and the mass of the earth:

P = 2 \pi \sqrt{\dfrac{a^3}{GM}}

Energy of the moon

Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt discovered a thin atmosphere on the moon, consistent with the moon losing orbital energy to aerobraking about 5300 years ago.

Scientist-Astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt (Apollo 17 LMP) stands next to a huge, split boulder during Apollo 17 EVA-3 at the Taurus–Littrow landing site on the Moon. Photo: Astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, Apollo 17 CDR/NASA

The orbital energy of the moon is the work done to bring an object from infinity into the particular orbit the object is in. By convention this expression is negative, so an object at infinity has an orbital energy of zero.

E = - \dfrac{GMm}{2a}

where M and m are the masses, respectively, of the earth and the moon, and G is the Newtonian gravitational constant. Henry Cavendish measured this value as:

G = 6.674*10^{-11} N m^2 kg^{-2}

(In so measuring, Cavendish weighed the earth, after Aristotle had found how big around the earth is.)

Both the mass of the earth and the synodic month changed. The synodic month changed from thirty (pre-Flood) “long” days to 29.531 “short” days. The mass of the earth diminished by three percent. This is the best estimate for the total mass of the “mavericks of the Solar System”: meteoroids, asteroids, comets, the small irregular moons of Mars and the gas giants, and the Trans-Neptunian objects.

But more than that, the length of the day changed. Before the Flood, a sidereal year was about 360 days (perhaps a bit longer). Today a sidereal year is 365.256 days. The year did not get longer, but the day got shorter. Brown calculates how that happened here and here.

To simplify the relationship among energy, the mass of the earth, and the length of the month (or the period of the moon), one separates the variable quantities from the constant ones. The Newtonian constant does not change, of course. But neither does the mass of the moon. (At least, not at once. A number of impactors did strike the moon centuries later, to create Oceanus Procellarum and Maria Imbrium, Frigoris, Tranquillitatis, Crisium, Humboltianum, and Moscoviense.)

First, solve for the semimajor axis a in terms of P (the month) and M:

a = \sqrt[3]{\dfrac{GMP^2}{4\pi^2}}

Now substitute this expression for a in the equation for the orbital energy E. This yields:

E = - m \sqrt[3]{\dfrac{(\pi G)^2}{2}} \left ( \sqrt[3]{M/P} \right )^2


E \alpha \left ( \sqrt[3]{M/P} \right )^2


E \alpha \left \lbrack \dfrac{M}{P} \right \rbrack ^ \frac{2}{3}

So the orbital energy of the moon changed (ΔE/E0) by this proportion:

1 - \left ( \dfrac{M}{M_0} \dfrac{P_0}{P} \right ) ^ \frac{2}{3}

The mass proportion is 0.97, because the earth lost 3 percent of its mass. The proportion for the month is greater than one, because the synodic month went from 30 “long” days to 29.531 “short” days. Substituting the values, and converting between the long day and the short, yields:

1 - \left ( 0.97 \times \dfrac{30 \times \dfrac{365.256}{360}}{29.531} \right ) ^ \frac{2}{3} = -0.00046

Or 0.046 percent. Naturally that energy change is negative, because the period is shorter.

Is that feasible? Yes. During the 150 days of the “prevalence” of the Flood waters, a cloud of water vapor, rock and mud surrounded the earth. The moon moved through all that. The larger objects wouldn’t slow the moon down much during the Gibbous phases of its orbit (between first and last quarters). But during the crescent phases the moon would be plowing through that cloud, and subject to its full bombardment. And the moon suffered a very heavy bombardment. Even during the Gibbous phases, the water vapor itself would “aero-brake” the moon as it passed. And remember: the above formula gives the net change of energy, accounting even for the earth losing part of its mass.

The great impactors would come much later, after they’d had time to form. They hit the moon like a load of buckshot. That’s why all the great Maria (except for Mare Moscoviense on the far side, and Mare Humboltianum along the eastern terminator) formed on one side of the moon. That side turned to face the earth, in tidal lock.

Today, as Brown records, the moon has an atmosphere, about 10-14 of the thickness of earth’s. It consists of oxygen from dissociated water vapor. That is likely the most important discovery that Project Apollo, or at least Apollo 17, ever made.

This provides support for a thirty-day synodic month before the Flood. It explains why calendars have always had twelve months, and never the thirteen that the World’s Day movement tried to urge on people. (Even Will Durant, in Caesar and Christ, promoted the idea of a calendar of thirteen months of twenty-eight days each, with one intercalary day, or two every four years or so.)


Calendar: from 360 to 365

Energy to change a calendar


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