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Cool Facts about the Moon

Updated on August 5, 2014
Moon
Moon

We have the largest moon in the solar system!

Well, that's relative. It is the largest satellite compared to the size of its planet. Our moon therefore affects our planet more than any other planets' moons.

Without the moon, life probably would not exist.

The moon causes tides, and scientists believe that life evolved in the intertidal zone. The moon also aligns the poles, which causes predictable seasons on our planet, and it causes the day to be about 24 hours long.

The Earth and Moon System
The Earth and Moon System

Theories of how we got our moon:

1. Double planet theory. This states that the moon and the Earth were created around the same time. The moon was another planet that got pulled into Earth's orbit.

2. Fission theory. When the Earth was first created, it was spinning so fast that part of it flung off and turned into the moon.

3. Capture theory. The moon was just another spacial body cruising along when it got pulled into the Earth's orbit.

4. Large impact theory. A huge object hit the Earth and fused with our planet, but some material was thrown off from the impact and went into orbit, forming a ring around the Earth, much like the rings of Saturn. Eventually, the material clumped together to form the moon.

Moon
Moon

Sci-fi movie about the moon.

 

The Phases of the Moon

The illustration below shows how the moon appears to go through phases. The sun shines from the right, leaving half of the moon in shadow at all times. The phases that the moon appears to go through are just the effects of light, shadow, and the angle at which we see the moon.

The moon phases
The moon phases

What is it like on the moon?

We always see the same side of the moon, but we know what the other side looks like due to spacecraft.

The moon doesn't have enough gravity to have an atmosphere. Since there's no atmosphere, there's no sound and the sky is always black, even during the day.

The image below is from NASA, and entitled Earthrise. It shows the Earth "rising" over the moon. This picture was taken from a spacecraft in orbit around the moon. Someone standing on the moon could not actually see the Earth.

Earthrise
Earthrise

Dig deeper into the moon!

The Moon
The Moon

Fun facts about the moon for children and adults.

 

Main sections of the moon's structure.

Below is a drawing of what scientists believe the inside of the moon is like.

Similar to what we know about the Earth, the Moon has a thin, cool crust. Then it has a large, dense mantle and multi-layered, extremely hot core. The external part of the core is liquid, and the internal part is solid metal.

The Inside of the Moon
The Inside of the Moon

A video from the 1969 moon landing:

Moon-Landing Conspiracy

I once traveled to a small town in the country in Chile, where I stayed with a wonderful family that took me in. This Chilean family was happy to have a foreigner in their house, but had very mixed feelings concerning many aspects of the United States. One of the subjects brought up was the 1969 moon landing, which they all believed was a hoax. I was surprised, because I was very young at the time and had never heard anything about the moon landing being fake.

There are many sub-cultures that have promoted the idea that the U.S. landing on the moon was a hoax, citing evidence such as the movement of the flag. However, I have read arguments on both sides and I still believe that people walked on the moon!

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    • stephaniedas profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Das 

      20 months ago from Miami, US

      Thanks!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      3 years ago from San Diego California

      Thanks for compiling this little collection of facts. I too believe Americans walked on the moon, it's just too big a conspiracy to conceal. Great hub!

    • stephaniedas profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Das 

      6 years ago from Miami, US

      @dinkan- I think that's correct. The moon is small, but its presence deflects some asteroids, at least that is my understanding from what I have read. Thanks for commenting.

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 

      6 years ago from India

      @ruffridyer It's the atmosphere that protects us from asteroids; they burn up most of the time before they reach the earth.But if moon was not there, earth might be struck by asteroids more frequently.

    • stephaniedas profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Das 

      6 years ago from Miami, US

      Thanks for the great comment, I appreciate it :)

    • Cresentmoon2007 profile image

      Cresentmoon2007 

      6 years ago from Caledonia, MI

      I love the moon and find this hub to be very interesting. Wonderfully written as well. Thank you for sharing. Voted up.

    • ttagpine profile image

      George S McChristian 

      6 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      I think I heard it on one of those old shows like 'In search of' from the 1970s or 1980s.

    • stephaniedas profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Das 

      6 years ago from Miami, US

      That's really interesting. I've never heard of that theory. If you find any info on it, would you mind sending it to me?

    • ttagpine profile image

      George S McChristian 

      6 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      I heard a theory many years ago, that the moon came from Death Vally, which is supposed to be the lowest dry land below sea level on earth. I don't remember what was supposed to have caused this to happen.

    • stephaniedas profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Das 

      6 years ago from Miami, US

      @ Sue- Maybe you were right about the moon falling out of the Pacific ocean, after all.I think my favorite theory is number 4, because I like to picture the Earth with rings.

      @ruffridyer- Good point to bring up. I cannot find any evidence to support it on NASA's website, but I did originally read it in In Quest of the Universe by Theo Koupelis. It doesn't seem like it should, since it is so small. The atmosphere probably does more than the moon.

    • profile image

      ruffridyer 

      6 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      The moon protects the earth from asteroids? Are you sure about that.

    • Sue Adams profile image

      Juliette Kando FI Chor 

      6 years ago from Andalusia

      Very interesting Hub. I like Brian Cox's theory about the origin of the moon, your second option:

      "2. Fission theory. When the Earth was first created, it was spinning so fast that past of it flung off and turned into the moon."

      As a child, I always believed that the moon had fallen out of the Pacific ocean. :)

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