Moon, our nearest celestial neighbor moon is also the only natural satellite of earth. After Neil Armstrong many other astronauts have landed on moon but there are lots of interesting facts which are yet unknown to most people. Let’s explore some interesting facts about moon.
After the successful landing of Apollo on Moon, the astronauts brought some rocks of Moon back to Earth. The study of these rocks led to the formation of the theory of Moon’s creation known as the Big Whack or the Giant Impact. According to the theory, Moon was created by a violent collision between Earth and an object which was of the size of Mars. This collision created debris which went loose from both Earth and the object and they started circling the Earth. As time passed these debris cooled down and came together and stuck to form the moon.
Source: universetoday.com, image: wikimedia.org
2. Diameter of Moon
The diameter of Moon is 3,476 kilometers which is less than the distance between Los Angeles to New York! The diameter of Earth’s moon is just one fourth of the diameter of Earth.
3. Moon is not round
When we look at the bright full moon in the night sky, our moon appears to be a lovely round (or spherical) shape. But in reality moon is not round. It is oval in shape just like an egg! Also, the geometric center of moon is not its center of mass. Moon’s center of mass lies about 1.2 miles away from its center of mass.
Source: livescience.com, image: slidesharecdn.com
4. 5th largest moon
Until now 182 moons have been discovered in our solar system and among them earth’s moon is the 5th largest moon. Isn’t it a coincidence that Earth is the 5th largest planet in solar system and its moon is the 5th largest moon?
Source: go-astronomy.com, image: public-domain-image.com
5. Our Moon has mountain
Just like earth, our moon too has mountains. The tallest mountain on moon is Mons Huygens and it is 4700 meters tall which is only half the height of the highest peak on earth Mount Everest.
Source: sciencekids.co.nz, image: wikimedia.org
6. Moon Bumps
The gravitational force of Earth is so strong that it stretches the surface of Moon. Moon too exerts its gravitational pull on Earth resulting in tides. But since the outer surface of Moon is completely solid, the Earth’s gravitation creates a bulge on moon’s surface which is about 50 centimeters on the surface of moon which is nearest to the Earth. It is known as Lunar Body Tide.
Source: space.com, image: space.com
7. Moon too has atmosphere
For a very long time it was thought that there is no atmosphere around the Moon. But recent studies have shown that there is an atmosphere enveloping the Moon. Even though this atmosphere is very thin as compared to Earth’s atmosphere but nevertheless it is there. The Moon’s atmosphere is known as exosphere and is made up of Noble gases helium, neon and argon.
Source: universetoday.com, image: davidreneke.com
8. Temperature of Moon
Moon has high temperature during day and low temperature during night. During daytime the average temperature of moon’s surface is 107 degree Celsius and during night it drops to – 153 degree Celsius.
9. Lose weight on moon!
Guess what; now you can lose weight without dieting and without any pills! How? Well just visit the moon and weigh yourself. Your weight would be reduced by one sixth of the weight measured while you were on earth. This happens as the mass of moon is quite less as compared to earth and hence its gravity is weaker than that of earth.
Source: space-facts.com, image: wikimedia.org
10. Dust dances on Moon!
The phenomenon of dust dancing on surface of moon was first noticed by Apollo astronauts. When sunrise and sunset occurs on Moon, the dust on surface of Moon tends to hover not on atmosphere but rather on the surface of Moon looking as if they are dancing on the surface.
11. A view of Earth from the moon
When we look at moon from earth we see many phases of moon like full moon, first quarter moon, new moon etc. The reverse happens when earth is seen from the moon! During new moon, earth appears as full earth from the moon. During first quarter moon our earth appears as last quarter earth from the moon. During full moon our earth appears as new phase of earth from the moon. So, if ever human being decide to shift their abode to moon, they would at least not miss the phases of moon (or rather of earth).
Source: space.com, image: flickr
12. Bye bye moon
No it’s not heartbreak but it’s true. Every year our moon is slowly and constantly drifting away from earth. About 620 million years ago the moon was so close to earth that there used to be only 21 hours in a day and now it is 24 hours. It is also estimated that 50 billion years from now our moon will be so far away that each day would be 45 hours long.
13. Nuclear experiment on moon
During the cold war in 1950’s, USA was working on a secret project called “Project A119” in which they were planning to have a nuclear explosion on the moon. At that time USA was lagging behind in the space race with Soviet Union and this project aimed to show off the strength of USA. Thankfully, this project was never practically implemented.
14. Moon’s Time Zone
There is a separate time zone for the moon which is quite different than the time zone that we follow on earth. The watch which shows time zone of moon was designed by Kenneth L. Franklin. He developed a system called Lunar Time. The time in the moon watch is measured in lunations which is the period taken by moon to rotate and complete a revolution around the Earth. 1 lunation is equal to 19.530589 Earth Days.
Source: space.com, image: wikimedia.org
Thinking about buying a plot on moon? Think again. The reason being just as Earthquakes happens on Earth, Moonquakes occurs on Moon. Since the time Buzz Aldrin placed seismometers on the moon, there had been many moonquakes recorded by the device. Four types of Moonquakes have been recorded till date which are: deep moonquakes, moonquakes caused by meteorite, thermal moonquakes and shallow quakes. The shallow quake is the most intense moonquake and they continue to occur for five times longer than average earthquake.
Source: weather.com, image: wikimedia.org