Facts about the moon

Facts about our moon
  1. Tidal: The moon accounts for about 2/3 of all Earth’s tidal action – the sun accounts for the rest
  2. Temperature: Temperatures can be as low as -173 degrees and as high as 127 degrees on the lunar surface. However, in some of the moon’s deep craters, temperatures can be as low as -240 degrees
  3. Gravity: The gravity on the moon is only 17% of Earth’s. In other words, if you weigh 100 kg on Earth, this means you weigh 17 kg on the moon. Therefore, on the moon you are able to jump 6 times higher and lift objects that are 6 times heavier than here on Earth
  4. Craters: It is estimated that there are around 300,000 craters (with a diameter of over 1 km) on the side of the moon visible from Earth. The craters bear the names of scientists, artists, explorers, etc.
  5. Spacecraft: The first spacecraft to reach the moon was the Russian Luna 1, which passed 5,995 km from the lunar surface in 1959
  6. People: Only 12 people have been to the moon so far. The first person to walk on the moon was Neil Armstrong in 1969 and the last was Gene Cernan in 1972
  7. Next visit: The next manned lunar visit is planned for 2019 by NASA
  8. Size: The moon is the fifth largest satellite in the solar system and has a diameter of 3,475 km. However, Earth’s moon is significantly smaller than the moons of Jupiter and Saturn
  9. More satellites: Earth has several satellites that follow it like the moon; however, these are all too small to be defined as moons
  10. Creation: It is believed that the moon was formed when a planet the size of Mars collided with Earth immediately after the creation of the solar system around 4.5 billion years ago
Fact: We can only see one side of the moon from Earth
Attribution: Gregory H. Revera – Wikipedia.org

Fact: From Earth, we can only see one side of the moon


More facts about the moon

  • Moonquake: Astronauts who have visited the moon have reported moonquakes – just like earthquakes here on Earth. Scientists believe these are due to a combination of Earth’s gravity pulling on the moon and the fact that the moon likely has a hot core like Earth
  • Atmosphere: The moon has only a thin atmosphere made up of unusual gases. This means that its surface is unprotected from meteors, solar winds, cosmic waves, etc. The thin atmosphere also means that the sky is always pitch black (planets and stars can still be seen, of course) and there is no sound
  • The dark side of the moon: From Earth, we can only see one side of the moon. This is because the Earth’s gravity pulls on multiple sides of the moon, keeping the moon in the same position (the same force that keeps it orbiting the Earth). However, billions of years ago, the moon did rotate (as seen from Earth). However, it should be noted that the dark side of the moon is not dark; there is an equal amount of sunlight everywhere on the moon
  • DistanceThe Moon is on average 384,403 km from Earth – but the distance can vary by +/- 43,592 km. The moon is also slowly drifting away from Earth at a rate of about 4 cm per year. In about 50 billion years, the moon will stop drifting away and enter a stable orbit around Earth. At this point, a lunar orbit around the Earth will last about 47 days compared to the current 27.3 days. However, all of this will never happen as the sun will destroy both the Earth and the moon within the next 4-5 billion years