You often look at the sky to find the moon peeking behind the clouds, and on full moon nights she drapes the earth in her silvery sheen.
But how much do we really know about the earth’s nearest cosmic companion?
Here are some interesting facts about the moon, which are good to know.
What created the Moon? According to the leading theory, the solar system began forming about 4.5 billion years ago. It was then that a huge rock almost the size of Mars smashed into Earth and created the Moon. Now, isn’t that interesting to know?
Though the Moon appears to be round, it is actually shaped like an egg. Other theories suggest it is shaped like a lemon (gosh!). Whatever, but now you know for sure that it is not a perfect round. Moreover, the Moon’s center of mass is not exactly at its center; it is about 1.2 miles or 2 kms off-center.
Heard the word Moonquake? Just like earthquakes, moonquakes are caused by the Earth’s gravitational influence and can last up to half an hour. That could cause enough destruction but that’s not the case as these moonquakes are much weaker than our earthquakes.
Like the Earth, the Moon also has water, which is found on the Moon in the form of ice trapped within its dust and minerals. In fact, this presence has been detected on the colder areas that are in permanent shadow and remain cold at all times for the water to remain intact in the form of ice. The Moon’s water was most probably delivered to its surface by comets.
Do you know that in the history of mankind, there are only 12 people who have walked on the Moon, beginning with Neil Armstrong in the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 and ending with Gene Cernan in 1972 on the Apollo 17 mission. And well done USA, all of these astronauts were Americans.
Also, a permanent asymmetric dust cloud surrounds the moon. This satellite’s atmosphere is made up of helium, neon, and argon, and is ten trillion times less dense than that of the Earth.
It has also been established that the moon always presents its same face towards the earth because this satellite is in synchronous rotation with our planet.
The Moon is moving away from the Earth at approximately 3.8 cm away from our planet every year, and scientists have estimated that it will continue to do so for another 50 billion years.
The Moon’s surface is actually dark but it reflects the light of the sun three times more than the earth and therefore looks very bright.
Whereas, the United States was the first country to land humans on the Moon, the Soviet Union was the first nation to land a spacecraft on its surface. In 1959, the uncrewed Luna 2 made contact with the celestial body.
So did you like knowing more about the moon?
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