Facts About the Moon

Facts About the Moon

  • The Moon is the only natural object that orbits the Earth
  • The Moon was formed about 4.51 billion years ago
  • The distance between the Moon and the Earth varies from 356,400 km (221,500 mi) to 406,700 km (252,700 mi). Average is 384,400 km
  • The Moon was first reached in 1959 by an unmanned spacecraft of the Soviet Union’s Luna program
  • The United States’ NASA Apollo program achieved the only manned lunar missions to date.

    Facts About the Moon

  • On July 21, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step upon the moon’s surface
  • The Moon has a solid iron-rich inner core with a radius possibly as small as 240 km (150 mi) and a fluid outer core primarily made of liquid iron with a radius of roughly 300 km (190 mi).
  • The dark and relatively featureless lunar plains, clearly seen with the naked eye, are called maria (Latin for “seas”; singular mare), as they were once believed to be filled with water;
  • Liquid water cannot persist on the lunar surface. When exposed to solar radiation, water quickly decomposes through a process known as photodissociation and is lost to space.
  • The Moon has an external magnetic field of about 1–100 nanoteslas, less than one-hundredth that of Earth.
  • The Moon has an atmosphere so tenuous as to be nearly vacuum, with a total mass of less than 10 metric tons (9.8 long tons; 11 short tons).
  • The Moon makes a complete orbit around Earth with respect to the fixed stars about once every 27.3 days and because Earth is moving it is about 29.5 days
  • Eclipses only occur when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are all in a straight line
  • The apparent size of the Moon is roughly the same as that of the Sun when viewed from Earth.
  • No nation claims ownership of any part of the Moon’s surface.
  • The moon is the brightest object in the night sky
  • The moon has no atmosphere, which means there was no air for them to breathe.
  • The moon also has extreme temperatures – boiling hot in the sun and freezing cold in the shadows.
  • No one has visited the moon for more than 40 years, but the footprints made by the astronauts who walked on its surface are still there. That is because there is no wind or water on the moon to wash the footprints away

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