For many people, the moon is just a white yellow round figure in the sky that lights the darkness. But when you look at it you think, how it is to be really there? We give you some ideas how the Moon really is like through these interesting facts!
The moon has no atmosphere, therefore it cannot provide protection to itself from solar winds, meteorites, and cosmic rays. So it has no wind either — which explains the stiff flag planted there by US astronauts. And because there’s no atmosphere on the moon, there’s also no sound, and the sky always look dark. The moon’s exosphere, which is a thin layer of gases , is not quite like the atmosphere we have on Earth.
The Moon has a diameter is 3,475 kilometers, definitely much smaller than the major moons of Jupiter and Saturn. The Earth is about 80 times the Moon’s volume despite the fact that they’re about the same age.
Right now we’re lucky to be able to witness solar eclipses, but a few million years in the future generations won’t be seeing any. Why? It’s because the moon is gradually drifting farther away from the Earth. In about 500 million years the Moon will be so distant that it will appear smaller than it does now, making it impossible to “eclipse” the Sun.
The Moon and the Sun just appear to be about the same size in the Earth’s sky. From the Earth’s viewpoint, the Moon’s orbit converges with that of the Sun and sometimes this event can completely cover the star. When this occurs, you can see the sun’s corona –the aura that surrounds the sun — pop out around the circumference of the moon. But if the moon is much smaller or much bigger, then the corona can’t be seen.
Actually, the Moon’s entirety receives the equal amount of sunlight, but you can see that only one side of the moon is ever seen from the Earth. The reason is that it rotates its own axis in exactly the same duration it takes to orbit the Earth. The result is that the same side always faces the Earth.
Neil Armstrong (1969)
Buzz Aldrin (1969)
Charles “Pete” Conrad (1969)
Alan Bean (1969)
Alan Shepard (1971)
Ed Mitchell (1971)
David Scott (1971)
James Irwin (1971)
John W. Young (1972)
Charles Duke (1972)
Eugene Cernan (1972)
Harrison Schmitt (1972)
You think that the Earth is the only one that has quakes? The Moon also has its share of quakes, and this is indicated by several surface cracks and crevices. But the reason why the Moon experiences quakes is different from that of the Earth’s. The sudden movement of the Earth’s crust is the reason why we experience tremors. The Moon, on the other hand, experiences quakes from the Earth’s gravitational pull. Scientists also believe that the Moon also has a molten core, just like the Earth.
As we’ve said earlier, the Moon is gradually drifting away from the Earth. It moves at an average of about 3.8 centimeters away from the Earth every year. Scientists estimate that the Moon will continue to drift away for the next 50 billion years. So when that finally happens, the Moon will take 47 days to go around the Earth instead of the present 27.32 days.
So why do we see only one side of the Earth? Before, the Moon used to go around the Earth at a different rate, but over time the planet pulled at several parts of the Moon, and much of the Moon’s mass fluctuated to the Earth’s side of its body and the rotation became locked to its revolution.
NASA astronauts will once again attempt to return to the Moon in 2019 in hopes of establishing a permanent space station there.
Although the Moon has virtually no atmosphere, it’s quite surprising to note that it has some water, specifically frozen water, found in the fissures. Scientists are still looking for specific answers for how the water exists.
Have you thought about why astronauts could leap and bound very high in the air while on the Moon? It’s because the Moon’s mass is much lesser than that of the Earth, resulting in weaker gravity. So once you step on the Moon, your weight will be only about 1/6 of your weight here on Earth.
Scientists have provided theories on the creation of the Moon. One popular theory says that a violent collision occurred between the Earth and Theia, which is a planet or a rock whose size is about the same as Mars. The wreckage from the collision was formed into a new body, which is now the moon.
While we tend to think that the Moon is huge, there are actually other moons (or satellites) that are bigger than the Earth’s. The biggest is Jupiter’s Ganymede which is even larger than Pluto or Mercury. It is followed — in order of size — by Titan (Saturn), Callisto and Io (both from Jupiter).
Some Apollo astronauts on the Moon noticed that the dust that rose and tended to fly around the surface. That dust occurs every sunrise and sunset. As to why it happens remains a mystery, but it is assumed that the dancing dust might have been caused by the electrically charged particles at these times. This phenomenon is currently being observed by the LADEE mission and results are expected to be out soon.