This past Thursday, Jake from 1 North hosted an event where we walked to Otts Hall and went on the roof with Professor Katie Rabidoux. We used tools to help us find consolations, and she brought up her telescope to look at the moon! We all had a great time! Here are just some quick NASA facts about the moon!
Out of Shape
The moon is not round, but is in fact egg-shaped with the large end pointed towards Earth.
Total weight: of the moon is 74 sextillion km (that’s 81 quintillion tons).
The crust on the far side of the moon is thicker than the crust on the near side.
The far side highlands appear to have formed early in the moon’s history, when a magma ocean (shaped by tides caused by Earth’s gravity) heated the moon’s floating crust non-uniformly. Since then, the magma ocean has solidified.
The rocks of the terrae (the light colored, rugged highlands of the moon) are nearly 4.6 billion years old.
The moon’s surface is covered by a pile of rock fragments and dust called lunar regolith. The thickness of the regolith varies from about 5 m on mare surfaces to about 10 m on highland surfaces.
All moon rocks originated through high-temperature processes with little or no involvement with water.
Who’s the Bunny Girl on the Moon?
Apollo 11 Buzz Aldrin to Mission Control, “Okay. We’ll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl.”
Weightless? Not Quite
Gravity on the moon is only 1/6 of that found on Earth.
Seeing the Earth rise from the moon never gets old.
There are two types of earthquakes that happen on the moon: deep moonquakes and shallow moonquakes.
The ancient Chinese greeted solar eclipses by using noisemakers and by shooting arrows toward the heavens.
Is There an Atmosphere on the Moon?
Relative to Earth, the moon is highly depleted in iron and in volatile elements that are needed to form atmospheric gases and water. However, there is an atmosphere.
Only 12 people have ever walked on the surface of the moon.
Don’t Forget Your Space Suit
The moon is 239,000 miles away from the Earth. It would take almost nine years to walk there.
As the astronomical telescope with its inverted image came into use, astronomers adopted the habit of representing the way they saw the moon — upside down. This practice was followed until very recently. Lunar images are now constructed and stored digitally and can be displayed at any orientation. The moon is now typically shown right side up.
Native Americans referred to February’s full moon as “Snow Moon.” This is due to the cold and snowy weather typically found during the month of February.
Mass is not distributed uniformly inside the moon. Large mass concentrations (“mascons”) lie beneath the surface of many large lunar basins and probably represent thick accumulations of dense lava. Relative to its geometric center, the moon’s center of mass is displaced toward Earth by several kilometers.
“Moonquakes” are millions of times less powerful than earthquakes.
A lunar day (or the time it takes from sunrise to sunrise) on the moon is approximately 708 hours.
Between 1969 and 1972 six Apollo missions brought back 382 kg (842 pounds) of lunar rocks, core samples, pebbles, sand and dust from the lunar surface. In addition, three automated Soviet spacecraft returned important samples totaling 300 g (approximately 3/4 pound).