Fact: General facts about the Moon

Abstract:

The Moon is a rocky satellite that orbits the Earth. As one of the largest satellites in the solar system, it is easy to see despite a large distance from Earth. The moon does spin in a rotation period that is exactly the same as the revolutionary period in which it goes around the Earth. As a result, the Moon appears to only ever show one side in the sky.

Facts About The Moon

Name Origin: Old English. As the Moon was visible to all cultures on Earth over time, each language has its own name for the Moon. In historical times, the Moon has been worshiped as a god or goddess on every continent where people have lived!

Size: Diameter 3,476.28 km. Mass of approximately 7.342×1022 kg. The moon is less than 1/3rd as big across as the Earth, but still ranks 4th out of the 15 large satellites in the solar system.

Gravity: 0.16g. Because the Moon is quite a bit smaller than planet Earth the gravity on the surface is not as strong. If you weighed 150lbs on Earth, you would only weigh 24lbs on the Moon!

Temperature: Because the moon has no significant atmosphere, the temperature ranges from a chilly −247 °C on the night side, to a very hot 123 °C during the day!

Days: Rotational period 27.32 days. The moon is said to be “tidally locked” which means it rotates at the same period that it revolves in orbit around the Earth. It is believed to have rotated faster in the past, and slowed down until it now only ever shows one face to the Earth!

Orbit: Semi Major Axis: 384,000km  Orbital Period 27.32 days The time it takes the Moon to go around the Earth formed the basis for the calendar unit of time the “Month”.

Atmosphere: Because the moon is so small, it has no atmosphere of any significance. The surface pressure is almost the same as a total vacuum!

Surface structures: The two most prominent surface features of the Moon are the many craters where were caused by asteroid and comet impacts, as well as the dark areas of which are called “maria” which mean seas. Although they look a little bit like oceans, Maria are dried lava-plains!

To learn more about The Moon

  • Earth’s Moon

http://moon.nasa.gov/home.cfm