10 Interesting Facts About The Moon
Here are 10 Interesting Facts About The Moon. As the full moon approaches, its growing brightness tends to capture our attention. The full moon occurs when the moon is on the opposite side of Earth from the sun, so that its face is fully illuminated by the sun’s light. But any day of the month, the moon has some secrets up her sleeve.
1. The Moon formed out of the Earth
Scientists now think that the Moon was formed when a Mars-sized object crashed into our planet about 4.5 billion years ago. The collision was so large that a huge spray of material was ejected into space. Facts about the Moon the orbiting ring of debris gathered itself into a sphere, and formed the Moon. The Moon seems to be much less dense than the Earth and lacks a lot of iron in its core. Scientists think that the Moon is made up of the upper crust material, which has mostly lower density, than the composition of the Earth.
2. The Moon only shows one face to the Earth
Although the Moon used to rotate in the sky compared to our point of view, facts about the Moon has been slowing down billions of years. And at some point in the distant past it just stopped turning from our perspective. The Earth’s gravity holds the Moon in orbit, but it pulls differently at various parts of the Moon. Over a long period, gravity slowed down the Moon’s rotation so that it finally stopped, and always displayed one face to the Earth.
3. The Moon is slowly drifting away
Although the orbit of the Moon seems nice and stable, our only natural satellite is actually drifting away from us at a rate of 4 centimeters a year. Facts about the Moon is happening because of the conservation of momentum in the orbit of the Earth. In about 50 billion years from now, the Moon will stop moving away from us. It will settle into a stable orbit, taking about 47 days to go around the Earth (it takes 27.3 days today). At that point, the Earth and the Moon will be tidally locked to each other. It will look like the Moon is always in the same spot in the sky.
4. The Moon looks the same size as the Sun
This is an amazing coincidence. From our perspective here on Earth, but the Moon and the Sun look approximately the same size in the sky. Facts about the Moon, the Sun is much much bigger than the Moon. The Sun happens to be 400 times larger than the Moon, but it’s also 400 times further away. This wasn’t always the case. Billions of years ago, the Moon was much closer than the Sun, and would have looked larger in the sky. And the Moon is moving away from us, so in the distant future, the Moon will look much smaller than the Sun.
5. The Moon causes most of the tide, but not all
You might know that the tides on Earth are caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon. But it’s not the only thing pulling at the Earth’s water, the Sun is helping out too. This is why we get very high and low tides from time to time. Facts about the Moon, when the gravity of the Moon and the Sun line up, we get the biggest and smallest tides.
6. Gravity on the Moon is only 17% of the Earth
Since the pull of gravity on the Moon is only 17% the pull of gravity on the Earth, you’ll feel much lighter.
7. The official name for the Moon is the Moon
Facts about the Moon that the only real name for the Earth’s Moon is “the Moon”. When the Moon was given its name, astronomers didn’t know that there were moons orbiting other planets. And so they just called it the Moon. Now that we know there are other moons, it all comes down to the capitalization. The Earth’s moon is referred as “the Moon”, with a capital “M”. Other moons are given a lowercase “m” to show the difference.
8. The Moon is the 5th largest natural satellite in the Solar System
The largest moon is Jupiter’s Ganymede (5,262 km), followed by Saturn’s Titan, Jupiter’s Callisto, Jupiter’s Io, and finally, the Earth’s Moon with a mean diameter of 3475 km.
9. Only 12 people have ever stepped onto the surface of the Moon
Only a tiny group of astronauts have ever set foot on the surface of the Moon. These were the astronauts on board the Apollo missions going from 1969 to 1972. Facts about the Moon that the first person to ever walk on the Moon was Neil Armstrong. And the last person on the Moon was Gene Cernan, who followed his partner Jack Schmitt into the lunar lander on December 14, 1972.
10. Going back to the Moon
NASA has been given the mission to return humans to the Moon, and set up a permanent research station. Facts about the Moon, astronauts are expected to set foot on the surface of the Moon again in 2019.