A new observation claims that the Moon is slowly drifting away from Earth. On several occasions during the last decade, scientists have fired laser beams at reflector panels placed on the Moon. By measuring how long it takes laser light to return to Earth — about 2.5 seconds on average — researchers calculate the distance between Earth laser stations and Moon reflectors. The data indicates that the Earth and Moon are slowly drifting apart at the rate at which fingernails grow or 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) per year. The results were published this month in the Journal Earth, Planets and Space.