The Moon Saga

How Well Do We Know Our MOON

Here are 7 questions which will answer most of the common things about The Moon. Let’s see how well do you know our MOON

July 20, 1969 – An astronaut slowly climbs down from Apollo 11. Minutes later, another astronaut descends and that they both stand on the Moon in their heavy space suits for the primary time. They were Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. The Moon has been a nonstop source of curiosity for mankind. There have been thousands of scientists before and after Buzz and Armstrong, with an undying passion about the Moon and also the zeal to understand more about it.

1. Is the Moon younger than the Earth?

There are many theories that attempt to explain how the Moon was formed. The Impact Theory‘ may be a popular one in all them. This theory suggests that the Moon is younger than the planet though it’s billions of years old. The Impact Theory leads us way back to 4.5 billion years. Back then, the planet didn’t have any satellites. An enormous body about the scale of Mars hit our planet. This shook off the planet from its orbit as a results of which, portions of the planet broke. Gradually, these broken pieces came together together with gas and dirt, and solidified to make the Moon. This unification had various effects however; molten lava which erupted out from the inside of the Moon for the subsequent two billion years.

2. Do meteors crash on the moon?

You might have observed the sudden flash of a bright moving object within the night sky. These bright trails are left by pieces of rocks in location, referred to as meteors. Millions of meteors speed towards our Earth each day, but they dissipate because of the friction caused by Earth’s atmosphere. The Moon doesn’t have an environment to blanket itself. Therefore, there’s no friction that might burn the pieces of rock approaching the Moon at great speeds. As a result, they crash on the surface of the Moon, forming lunar soil.

3. Are there moon rocks?

The Moon’s surface has mountains, as well as rocks. Scientists discovered that these moon rocks are the same as the igneous rocks on the world. They are formed through the lava which solidifies over a period of time. But, their chemical make-up is different from that of the rocks found on Earth. Moon rocks don’t contain any traces of water. Much of the Moon’s surface is roofed by tiny pieces of rocks, and dust. This is often referred to as lunar soil. It takes billions of years to make lunar soil. It’s formed when large and tiny pieces of rocks rain on the surface of the Moon. Unlike the planet, there’s less iron on lunar soil.

Rock On Moon

4. How big is the Moon?

The Moon is massive and the brightest object that one can spot on the night sky from Earth. It appears to be huge because it is the closest celestial body. The equatorial diameter of the Moon is termed as 3,472 kilometers. The surface of the Moon is as big as North and South America all together. According to NASA, “If Earth was the size of a nickel, the Moon would be about as big as coffee bean.” The Moon is not a perfect sphere, just like the Earth. It is slightly flattened towards the poles.

5. Is anything special about the footprints on the Moon? 

Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the Moon in 1969. If one were to visit the Moon now, one could still find the footprints that he left behind in 1969. 

A footprint on sand or mud on Earth, would soon disappear due to wind or rain. On the other hand, the footprints left on the Moon last almost forever because unlike Earth, there is no wind or water on the Moon to wash it off. Therefore, the footprints won’t be disturbed and will last for years. So you can’t leave the moon without leaving behind your footprints.

6. How did the invention of the telescope helped us change the studies about the Moon and other celestial bodies?

The nature of the studies about the celestial bodies began to evolve in the 1600s. Galileo Galilei developed a telescope to closely observe the Moon. Galileo was one of the first astronomers to make accurate design of the telescopic drawings of the Moon; his drawings are preserved in his book titled “Sidereus Nuncius”.  He observed that the Moon’s surface was different as it appeared to be.  The 17th century was a period of telescopic mappings. Over a period of time, Giovanni Battista Riccioli and Francesco Maria Grimaldi worked on of naming the lunar features. Their lunar terminology is in use even today. This was followed by the mathematically accurate studies about lunar features.

equal in size

7. How does the Moon shine?

The night sky looks dull without the Moon even if there are thousands of stars. The Moon does not have a light of its own nor it emits any. How ironic! Moonlight is developed when sunlight reflects the white dust on the Moon’s surface.  The Moon reflects only 3-12% of the sunlight that hits its surface.

The Moon Saga

 The other factors that influence the brightness of the Moon may include the distance of the Moon around the Earth and the simultaneous movement of the Earth around the Sun.

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