Say a large, stray Kuiper Belt object manages to enter the inner solar system and hits the moon, causing the moon to fracture. Say the impact wasn't devastating and left most of the moon intact while creating fairly small moon fragments. What would be some conceivable short and long-term consequences for earth after such an event (eg. altered tidal patterns for a number of years)?
From what I gather reading the 2 other threads here that relate to this topic, a smaller moon may mean less gravity/drag on earth, resulting in shorter days on our planet. Some of the small moon fragments may also form a ring around earth. If this happens, is it conceivable that some of these fragments would be visible to the naked eye at night, illuminated by the sun just like the moon?
Someone also mentioned that over time, the fragments still bound by moon's gravity could re-coalesce. Is that to say in time the moon could regain some of its original mass?
Sorry for the handful of questions here. What I'm most interested in is whether (and how) life/the environment on earth could be altered slightly following an impact on the moon. Any insights on the possible scenarios would be GREATLY appreciated!