Astronomy

Facts about the Moon



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The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite, although some people do not even think of it as a moon, more on that later!

The Moon is a inhospitable place with a temperature range of 130 C to - 110 C. There is no atmosphere, so the Moon's sky will always appear dark, even on it's bright side. As there is no atmosphere, sound can not travel on the Moon, not that you would want to take of your space helmet to talk! There is possibly some frozen ice at the poles which could be useful for future Moon missions. The first people to walk on the Moon, July 20 1969, where two of the astronauts from NASAs Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. The Moon's surface is a mixture of craters from asteroid impacts and Maria, which were once considered to be seas on the Moon's surface but are actually Moon plains.

Moon rocks (gathered by astronauts from lunar missions) are very similar to Earth rocks. They are about 4.3 billion years old. Scientist theorize that the Moon was formed 4.3 billion years ago, when there was a catastrophic collision between the young Earth and an object the size of Mars. The ejected material from the collision, clumped together in Earth's gravity and started to orbit the Earth as the Moon.

On average the Moon is 384 000 km away from the Earth. It revolves round the Earth in one month (27 days 8 hours). We always see the same side of the Moon as it is in synchronous rotation with the Earth. We only saw the dark side of the Moon for the first time in 1959 when a Soviet unmanned mission photographed the surface. The Moon's size relative to the Earth's is bigger than the average planet - moon combination, this and the fact that the Moon does not revolve around the Earth, it instead revolves around the Sun in concert with the Earth, has lead to some people believing that the Moon is not actually a moon but instead the Earth and Moon form a double planet system.

Source:

The Moon http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/moon/

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