The moon is the 5th largest satellite in the Solar System and Monday, the first working day of the week, is named after the moon – Moon day!
Here are some of the most interesting and significant data about the Moon.
1.) USA and Russia have been to the moon but none of them claim ownership of the moon or any part of the Moon’s surface.
2.) According to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, the Moon and all outer space are regarded as the “province of all mankind”.
3.) A crescent Moon appears on the national flag of Pakistan and Turkey. In Islam, the crescent Moon is regarded as important visual symbol.
4.) The Latin name of the Moon is Luna where the words lunacy, lunatic and loony is derived.
5.) Incidents of suicides, homicides, traffic accidents and admissions to psychiatric hospitals increase during a full Moon.
6.) Lunokhod 1 was the first of unmanned lunar rovers landed on the Moon by the USSR. It was the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another celestial body.
7.) Luna 3 is the first space craft to send back pictures from the Moon in 1959.
8.) Have you ever heard about the Saros cycle? It is an eclipse cycle with a period of 223 synodic months or equivalent to nearly 18 years 11 1/3 days. It can be used to predict eclipses of the Moon and Sun.
9.) Variation of the Moons distance from the Earth is due to its elliptical orbit around the Earth. The distance ranges between approximately 357,000 kilometers and 406,000 km.
10.) One cycle after an eclipse, the Sun, Earth, and Moon return to approximately the same relative geometry, and a nearly identical eclipse will occur.
11.) The last total eclipse of the Moon occurred on December 21, 2010 and the next total eclipse of the Moon will occur on June 15, 2011.
12.) Yes, there are also quakes on the moon – they are called moonquakes. The existence of moonquakes was proven through seismometers placed on the by Apollo astronaut.
13.) The Moon is about 384,400 km from Earth. If you are going to travel by car from the Earth to the Moon it will take you 130 days.
14.) If you are to go to the Moon by means of a rocket it will take you 13 days.
15.) If you will travel to the Moon from the Earth by the speed of light it will only take 1.52 seconds.
16.) The largest moon in the Solar System is Jupiter’s Ganymede with a diameter of 5,262 km.
17.) Saturn’s Titan, Jupiter’s Callisto and Jupiter’s Io are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th largest moons, respectively.
18.) The Earth’s Moon, with a mean diameter of 3475 km, is the 5th largest natural satellite in the Solar System.
19.) Aside from European Space Agency, four other countries since 2004 have sent lunar orbiters – they are China, India, Japan and the United States.
20.) February is the only month that can occur without a Full moon. During such occurrences, either January or March will have two Full moons.
21.) The second full moon occurring within a calendar month is called a Blue Moon. The last occurrence of a Blue Moon was on December 31, 2009. On the average, this phenomenon occurs once every 3 years.
22.) The Moon is about ¼ the size of the Earth and the Sun is 400 times larger than the Moon.
23.) The moons of the planet Uranus are named after Shakespearean characters and all the moons of the other planets on the Solar System are named after Greek and Roman mythology.
24.) As we have known, tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun. the Moon also pulls the Earth’s crust which causes it to bulge up.
25.) As we view the Moon, it looks like it is round but it is not. It is actually egg-shaped.
26.) Do you play golf? If you play golf in the Moon, you can hit a golf ball and drive it nearly one half mile away like Alan Sheppard did when he was there.
27.) For the Moon to go all the way around the Earth and return to its starting position, it will take about 27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes, 11.6 seconds.
28.) The time the Moon takes to pass through a complete cycle of its phases which is measured from New Moon to New Moon is called a Lunar month.
29.) The densest natural satellite in the Solar System is Jupiter’s Io. The Earth’s Moon is the second densest satellite.
30.) Is it hot on the Moon? Or, is it cold out there? The temperature of the Moon ranges between 123º C and -233º C. So, it’s really cold during the night (where the Sun is not shining) and really hot during the day (where the Sun is shining).
31.) To date, only 12 people have ever stepped onto the surface of the Moon. By 2018, people will be sent to the Moon again.
32.) Almost everybody knows that Armstrong was the first man to walk on the Moon. Who’s the last? It’s Gene Cernan –December 14, 1972.
33.) Would you like to see the Moon orbiting counterclockwise from west to east? Then go to the North Pole.
34.) If you weighed 100 kg on Earth, you only weighed 17 kg on the Moon. The suits worn by astronauts weighed 180 lbs on Earth but only weighed 30 lbs on the Moon due to lower gravity.
35.) Capitalizing only on your own muscle power, you can fly around inside a dome on the Moon.
36.) It seems enjoyable to stay on the Moon. In there, you can jump 6 times further and can carry objects 6 times as heavy.
The Moon orbits Earth at an average speed of 3,683 km/hr that is much faster than the fastest space craft ever invented by men.
37.) The Moon travels slowest when it is at furthest distance from Earth and moves fastest in its orbit when it is closest to Earth.
38.) The distance the Moon travels around the Earth is 2,290,000 km.
39.) The Moon, with a diameter of 3,476 km, is about 30 times the diameter of the Earth.
40.) The Moon’s surface has about the same area as the continent of Africa and contains numerous craters formed by meteorites billion years ago, lava plains, mountains, and valleys.
41.) The Moon hasno atmosphere and there is no wind or weather so footprints left by humans will remain visible for at least 10 million years but water was discovered in 2009.
42.) It was discovered that heating Moon dust to 800º Centigrade will turn it into water.
43.) The highest tides called Spring Tides occur during Full and New Moons due to the combine gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon.
44.) On the other hand, the lowest tides called Neap Tides occur during Quarter Moons where the gravitational forces of the Sun and the Moon oppose each other.
45.) Only 59% of the surface of the Moon is visible from Earth and we always see the same side of the moon because it always keeps the same side pointing towards us so we can never see the other side of the Moon from the Earth.
46.) As the Moon rotates around the Earth, it also rotates around its own axis at the same rate. This is the reason why we always see the same side of the Moon.
47.) Like continents that drift away from each other, the Moon is moving away from the Earth at a rate of about 1.6 inches per year.
48.) Mirrors were left by astronauts on the Moon because they wanted to bounce laser beams off them so that they can measure the distance of the Moon.
49.) And lastly, all Apollo missions sent to the Moon brought back 2,196 rock samples with a total weight of 382 kg.
50.) Before the occurrence of a Supermoon on March 19 2011, the last Supermoon was seen on January 30, 2010. The next Supermoon will appear on November 14, 2016. Supermoon is a phenomenon where the Moon is closest to the Earth.