facts about the moon

Facts About the Moon

Fascinating Facts About the Moon

There are facts about the Moon you probably know because the Moon has featured in myths and legends throughout history and blood moons have recently become popular news items.

Historically staring at the moon was said to send you mad and people went to great lengths to prevent the moon shining on their faces while they slept. Lunar is the adjective relating to the Moon from which the word lunatic, for mentally ill people, and moonstruck are derived. As recently as 1700, people still believed the Moon caused fever, epilepsy and other illnesses. In 2012 President Obama finally put a stop to this lunacy, at least in the US, by removing the term lunatic from laws. The B&W image of a Blood moon above was taken by Al Goold Photography on 14th April 2014.

Facts about the MoonData, Figures and other Facts about the Moon
Formation of the moonAbout 4.5 billion years ago, primordial Earth collided with a celestial body roughly the size of Mars. As a result matter from the earth’s crust was thrown into orbit which then formed the moon.
Diameter of the moon2160 miles (3476 km) in diameter (27.2% of the Earth’s diameter).
Relative size of the moonThe moon is the 14th largest object in our solar system. It’s the fifth largest moon after Ganymede (Jupiter III), Titan (Saturn VI), Callisto (Jupiter IV) and Io (Jupiter I).
Mass and WeightOur moon weighs 81 billion tons (7.35 x 1022 kg) and ranks fifth in the solar system behind  Ganymede, Titan, Callisto and Io.
Density of the moon3.34 g/cm3, compared to Earth’s 5.5 g/cm3. The moon is second only to Jupiter’s Io 3.53g/cm3 which has the highest surface gravity of all moons in the solar system.
Volume of the moon21.958 km3, which is 2.03% of Earth’s volume.
Surface area of the moon14,644,855 million square miles (37,930,000 km2) which is 7.4% of Earth’s surface area.
Color of the moonDark gray surface (despite appearing white).
Physical characteristicsLarge dark plains known as Maria, from Mare – sea in Latin. Mostly resulting from the impact of rubble from space. Craters up to 15,000 feet (4500m) deep.
Surface Composition43% Oxygen (compared to 30% on Earth), 20% Silicon, 19% Magnesium, 10% Iron, 3& Calcium, 3% Aluminum, 0.42% Chromium, 0.18% Titanium and 0.12% Manganese.
Influence on the EarthThe gravity of the moon causes the oceans to rise or fall by roughly 6ft (2 meters).
Distance from the EarthThe mean distance from the Earth is 226,000 miles (365,000 km).
Orbital period27.3217 days.
Orbital speedOn average 2290 mph (3680 km/s).
Rotation speed10 mph (16 km/h) compared to 1000 mph (1609 km/h) on Earth.
Trajectory velocity636 mp/s (1023 km/s).
Magnetic fieldBetween 100 and 1000 times weaker than Earth’s.
Temperature sunny sideDuring the day, up to 123 °C. It gets so hot because the moon has no atmosphere because gravity is too weak to retain any gases.
Temperature dark sideAt night, up to -155 °C.
Gravitational pullOur moon’s gravity at around 1/6th of Earth’s gravity. Our moon is second only to Jupiter’s Io which has the highest surface gravity of all moons in the solar system.
Dark sideThe dark side of the moon was first photographed in 1959 by Lunik III.
New moonA new moon is observed when when the moon is between the Sun and the Earth.
Blood moonWhen the moon appears reddish or copper color it’s often called a “blood moon” and was used to describe the April 2014 lunar tetrad which means four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial eclipses in between, each separated by six full moons (six lunar months).
Harvest moonThe full moon nearest to the autumnal equinox – used by farmers to gather in the harvest and marks the start of Fall in the northern hemisphere.
Full moonA full moon is observed when the Earth is between the Sun and the moon.
Number of astronauts to walk on it12 astronauts (exclusively US Americans) reached their goal over six Apollo missions.
First person to walk on the moon
Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) was the first person to walk on the moon on July 21, 1969.
Next person to walk on itBuzz Aldrin (born January 20, 1930) followed shortly afterwards to become the second person to walk on the surface.
Last person to walk on the moon
Eugene Cernan (born March 14, 1934) was the last person to leave the moon on December 14, 1972.

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