The Moon By Rebecca
The Moon is orbiting at about 2,300 miles per hour. • The Moon is slowly drifting away • The Moon looks the same size as the Sun • The Moon makes 1 rotation and completes a revolution around the Earth every 27 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes. • The Moon is the 5th largest natural satellite in the Solar System • The moon, the Earth's only natural satellite, is about 238,900 miles away from Earth. It is the brightest light in the night sky, yet it does not give off its own light, but reflects the sunlight. • Only 59% of the moon's surface is visible from earth. From Earth, we always see the same side of the moon; the other side is always hidden. • The dark spots we see on the moon that create the image of the man in the moon are actually craters filled with basalt.
The shape of the moon appears to change in a repeating cycle when viewed from the Earth because the amount of illuminated moon we see varies, depending on the moon's position in relation to the Earth and the sun. • We see the full moon when the sun is directly behind us, illuminating a full hemisphere of the moon when it is directly in front of us. • The new moon, when the moon is darkened, occurs when the moon is almost directly between Earth and the sun. • When a month has two full moons, the second full moon is called a blue moon. Another definition of a blue moon is the third full moon in any season containing 4 total full moons.
At some point in Earth's early history, a rogue planet, larger than Mars, struck the Earth in a great, glancing blow. Instantly, most of the rogue body and a sizable chunk of Earth were vaporized. The cloud rose to above 13,700 miles altitude, where it condensed into innumerable solid particles that orbited the Earth as they aggregated into ever larger moonlets, which eventually combined to form the moon. • The surface of the moon has many things on it such as craters, lava plains, mountains, and valleys. Scientists believe the craters were formed around 3.5 to 4.5 billion years ago by meteors hitting the moon's surface. They can be from 1 meter to 1,000 kilometer. • The Moon's temperature ranges between 123C (253F) to 233C (-451F). It's really hot where the sun is shining and really cold where it's not.
Because the force of gravity at the surface of an object is the result of the object's mass and size, the surface gravity of the moon is only one-sixth that of the Earth. The force gravity exerts on a person determines the person's weight. A man that weighs 180 pounds on Earth would weigh only 30 pounds on the Moon. The moon's gravitational pull on the Earth is the main cause of the rise and fall of ocean tides. The moon's gravitational pull causes two bulges of water on the Earth's oceans—one where ocean waters face the moon and the pull is strongest and one where ocean waters face away from the moon and the pull is weakest. Both bulges cause high tides. These are high tides. As the Earth rotates, the bulges move around it, one always facing the moon, the other directly opposite. The combined forces of gravity, the Earth's rotation, and other factors usually cause two high tides and two low tides each day.
The moon is the only extraterrestrial body that has ever been visited by humans. Only 12 people have ever stepped onto the surface of the Moon. The first space craft to send back pictures from the moon was Luna 3 (built by the Soviet Union) in October 1959. • There is no wind or weather on the moon. The footprints left there by the Apollo astronauts will remain there for many years because of this. • The rocks and soil brought back by Apollo missions are extremely dry; the moon has no indigenous water. However, the moon is bombarded by water-laden comets and meteoroids. Most of this water is lost to space, but some is trapped in permanently shadowed areas near both poles of the moon. • Apollo's studies suggested that the moon has only a tiny metallic core, roughly 15 times smaller than that of the Earth. They also believe that the core is not in the middle, like Earth's.
Bibliography • http://www.moonconnection.com/moon_facts.phtml • http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/07/0714_040714_moonfacts.html • http://www.universetoday.com/20050/10-interesting-facts-about-the-moon/ • http://library.thinkquest.org/J0112410/quickfacts.htm • http://www.siec.k12.in.us/cannelton/moontree/moon.htm