Facts and stats about the Moon

What is the Moon?

 

moon

 

The moon is the Earth’s natural satellite. It has circled around the Earth for at least four billion years. It is a rocky ball about a quarter of Earth’s size and is held in its orbit by mutual gravitational attraction.

Most scientists believe that the moon formed when, early in Earth’s history, a planet smashed into it. The impact was so tremendous that nothing was left of the planet but a few hot splashes thrown back up into space. Within a day of the smash, these splashes had been drawn together by gravity to form the moon.

moon-seas

What are the moon’s seas?

The large dark patches visible on the Moon’s surface are called seas, but in fact they are not seas at all. They are huge plains formed by lava flowing from inside the Moon.

eclipse

What is a Lunar Eclipse?

As the Moon goes around the Earth sometimes it passes right into Earth’s shadow, where sunlight is blocked off. This is a lunar eclipse. If you look at the Moon during this time, you can see the dark disc of the Earth’s shadow creeping across the Moon.

lunar-module

Lunar Module

The Lunar Module from Apollo mission was the astronauts home during their brief stay on the moon. This was the first manned spacecraft which operated exclusively in the airless vacuum of space. Lunar Module was the first and the only crewed vehicle to land anywhere beyond Earth till date.

What is a Harvest Moon?

The Harvest moon is the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox (when the night and day are of equal length). This moon hangs bright above the eastern horizon for several evenings, providing a good light for the harvesters.

High tide

Why does sea have High tide ?

The Moon’s gravity draws the ocean into an oval around the Earth, creating a bulge of water on each side of the world. These bulges stay beneath the Moon as the Earth spins round and so seem to run around the world, making the tide rise and fall as they pass.

What is Moonlight?

The Moon is by far the brightest thing in the night. But it has no light of its own. Moonlight is simply the Sun’s light reflected off the white dust on the Moon’s surface.

What is a new moon?

The moon appears to change shape during the month because, as it circles the Earth, we see its bright, sunny side from a different angle. At the new moon, the moon lies between the Earth and the sun, and we catch only a crescent-shaped glimpse of its bright side. Over the first two weeks of the month, we see more and more of the bright side (waxing) until full moon. When we see all its sunny side. Over the next two weeks, we see less and less (waning), until we get back to just a silver – the old moon.

Who were the first men to walk on the surface of the moon?

 

First-men-on-moon

 

The first men on the moon were Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin of the US Apollo 11 mission. They landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. As Armstrong set foot on the moon, he said: “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.

Exactly how long is a month?

It takes the Moon 27.3 days to circle the Earth, but 29.53 days from one full moon to the next, because the Earth moves as well. A lunar month is the 29.53 days cycle. Calendar months are entirely artificial.

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