13 Interesting Facts about the Moon (Luna)
1. The moon was formed when an astronomical body about the size of Mars crashed into Earth 4.5 million years ago. This is known as the Theia Impact.
2. The sun is 400 X larger than the moon but is also 400 X farther from Earth. As a result, the sun and moon look the same size.
3. The moon is 81 X lighter than Earth.
4. The moon is slowly drifting away from Earth, approximately 4 cms a year.
5. The Earth rotates on its axis at the same speed as the moon rotates around the Earth, so we always see the same side of the moon.
6. The Moon and the Earth orbit each other.
7. The moon is not round, rather, it is shaped like an egg.
8. The moon experiences ‘moonquakes’ much like Earth experiences earthquakes. However, moonquakes can last up to an hour, unlike earthquakes.
9. The lunar maria (singular – mare) are large and dark basaltic plains on the moon made by ancient volcanic eruptions. They are known as moon seas as ancient astronomers first believed them to be filled with water.
10. An astronaut’s footprint could last for a million years, as there is no wind or water on the surface of the moon.
11. When pieces of moon rock were brought back from the Apollo 11 mission, scientists were surprised to find out they had magnetic qualities.
12. The original tapes of the Apollo moon landing were erased and re-used by accident.
13. The Moon takes 27.3 days to rotate on its axis and the same amount of time to complete one revolution around Earth. To us Earthlings, it may look like it isn’t rotating at all! Scientists call this synchronous rotation.