Moon Wobble Effect

The moon wobble is a standard fluctuation in the moon’s orbit, documented in 1728 for the first time. This moon wobble required more than 18.6 years to complete and orbits cyclically. The moon wobble influences the moon’s gravitational pull and indirectly affects the flow and ebb of tides on the earth. In addition, according to a recent study by NASA, every wobble cycle holds the capacity to boost and suppress the earth’s tides.

One-half of the 18.6-year wobble cycle subdues the tides, which means that the high moon tides get more downward, while the low tides get loftier than usual. Once this rotation completes, the position flips—in the following cycle, the tides get amplified, with high moon tides reaching higher and low tides, lower! Information about such topics will help you be updated with current affairs and help you in your UPSC and IAS preparation.

Questions like this are frequently asked questions in the IAS prelims. In addition to the UPSC syllabus, you can add this information to your UPSC notes to better tackle the civil services exam.

Preparing for UPSC? Complement your IAS exam preparation with the following links to gain an edge over the competitors-

How does this moon wobble occur?

High tides on earth usually get induced by the force of the moon’s gravity on a rotating earth. On most coasts, you would notice two high tides within 24 hours. The moon likewise rotates around the earth about once per month, and that orbit remains a little bit inclined.

The Moon’s orbital plane near the earth remains at around a 5-degree angle to the earth’s orbital plane near the sun. Due to this, the moon’s path orbit seems to keep moving over time, finishing a completing cycle — sometimes known as a nodal cycle every 18.6 years.

At specific junctures along the cycle, the moon’s gravitational force comes from such an inclination that it removes one of the day’s two high tides a little bit higher at the cost of the other. This does not imply the moon itself is wobbling nor that its gravity is necessarily drawing at the oceans any less or more than expected. Such information about the moon wobble can be asked in the current affairs quiz during your UPSC 2022 preparation.

Understanding moon wobble and climate change

  • The forthcoming shifts in the lunar cycle will pose a severe threat as the amplified high tides associated with the rising sea levels will cause the threat of surging far greater across all seaside areas of the globe.
  • The moon wobble flooding NASA study forecasts that the high tide-associated torrents—also identified as sunny day floods or nuisance floods —may occur in groups that could endure for months or even for extended years!
  • This wave will remain closely associated with the moon’s position, earth, and the sun. When the earth and moon line up in specific patterns with each other and the sun, the resultant gravitational force and the ocean’s related reaction may vacate city-dwellers, managing with downpours every day or two.

Given below are a few other related links for CSE preparation:

Indian Space Research Organization [ISRO]

Dr Vikram Sarabhai

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

Climate Change In India

Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe)

List of Indian Satellites

The effect of the moon’s wobble

  • The impact of the wobble could generate high tide levels at the coast to drive by 1 or 2 inches throughout its extended cycle. While this might sound short, it can matter quite in specific circumstances. It just kind of increases the baseline, and the more your baseline is increased, the less the temperature event you require to create a flooding occurrence.
  • Comprehending that baseline is crucial even when we are in the stages of the nodal cycle.
  • It is necessary to recognize that at the mid-2030s end, where the switch moves and the natural rotation seems to intensify the rate of sea-level height, then we are heading to see a quick transition.
  • High-tide flooding connected to weather change is anticipated to smash records with growing frequency over ten years. Individuals who want to predict that chance accurately have to work with a lot of noisy data, including climate patterns, astronomical occurrences, and provincial tidal variation.

Get the complete List of Space Centers and Indian Space Agencies at the linked article.

For any further assistance regarding the upcoming UPSC exam or study material regarding the same, visit BYJU’S.

Other Related Links

Science & Technology Notes For UPSC

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UPSC Mains GS-III Strategy, Structure & Syllabus

Indian Spacecraft for Science and Technology

Frequently Asked Questions on Moon Wobble


What do we mean by moon wobble, and is this topic crucial for the IAS exam?

Moon wobble is the regular rotation of the moon in its orbit. And, yes, this topic is crucial for your IAS preparation.


Why does the moon wobble?

The moon rotates around the earth approximately once a month, and that orbit remains a bit tilted. To be more specific, the moon’s orbital ring around the earth remains at around a 5-degree angle to the earth’s orbital ring around the sun.


When will the lunar cycle shift again?

The lunar cycle is anticipated to move again by mid-2030, and in the forthcoming stage, the tides will intensify and pose a significant threat of flooding.


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