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The Moon Is Actually Drifting Away From Earth

Moon Location and Orbit

Moon Location and Orbit

The first of our interesting Moon facts tells us about its distance from Earth. While technically it is anywhere between 225,622 and 252,088 miles from Earth depending on its rotation, it is actually steadily moving further away from our planet over time. It is estimated to be doing so at a rate of 3.85 centimeters per year. This shift will continue for 50 billion years. By the end of this time, the Moon will take around 47 days to orbit the Earth instead of the current 27.

There Is No Atmosphere on The Moon

This means that there can be huge temperature variations on the surface between night and day, and also that no sounds can be heard there. It also means that the sky around the Moon will always appear to be black. This lack of atmosphere also means that the surface is always unprotected from solar winds, from meteorites and from cosmic rays.

You Would Weigh One-sixth as Much on the Moon

Your Weigh on Other Planets

Your Weigh on Other Planets

The Moon has a much smaller mass than Earth, so therefore a weaker gravitational pull. If you were lucky enough to be able to land on the Moon yourself, you’d find that you actually just one-sixth of your usual weight. This is why when we’ve seen footage of people walking on the Moon they have been able to leap so high into the air, because they appear to weigh much less. In reality, their body weight has not changed one iota! To work out how much you’d weigh on the Moon, simply divide your weight by six.

There Is No Such Thing as the Dark Side of the Moon

This next of our Moon facts might disappoint any Pink Floyd fans, but there is no dark side to the Moon at all! Both sides of the Moon see exactly the same amount of light. It is just that we can only see one side of the Moon, because it rotates on its axis in exactly the same time that it takes to orbit the Earth. The side that faces away from Earth has only ever been seen by those who have traveled by spacecraft, but it appears the same as the side we see.

The Moon Orbits the Earth at 2,288 Miles per Hour

This next in our fascinating Moon facts tells us about how quickly the Moon orbits the Earth. It is estimated that it moves at a speed of 2,288 miles per hour as it orbits. It travels at very different speeds depending on where it is. It moves at its slowest when it is at its furthest distance from Earth and at its fastest when it is closest to us.

The Moon Has a Diameter of 2,000 Miles

Earth moon size comparison

Earth moon size comparison

Our next of the interesting Moon facts tells us a little more about the size of the Moon. It has a diameter of 2,000 miles. To put context, the Moon measures roughly the same size as the entire continent of Africa.

Only 12 People Have Ever Walked on The Moon

Neil Armstrong Stepping On The Moon

Neil Armstrong Stepping On The Moon

The next of our interesting Moon facts tells us about who has actually walked on its surface. So far, there have only been 12 people who have walked on the Moon. They were all American males. The Apollo 11 mission in 1969 meant that Neil Armstrong was the first man to achieve this monumental feat. The last man to do it was Gene Carnan in 1972 as part of the Apollo 17 mission. Since then, only been unmanned vehicles have set “foot” on the Moon and no further humans.

The Moon Has Something Called a Lunar Month

This is a term used to explain the complete cycle of phases the Moon passes through from New Moon to New Moon. It lasts approximately 29 days, 12 hours, 43 minutes, 11.6 seconds! It actually lasts for longer than the time it takes the Moon to orbit the Earth. This is because the Earth constantly orbits the Sun and is always moving. Therefore, the Moon has to travel slightly more than 360 degrees to get from one New Moon to another.

The Moon Has a Phenomenon Known as Moonquakes

Scientists think that, just like Earth, the Moon has a molten core. Astronauts have taken seismographs there to measure activity below the surface. They found that small quakes were happening several miles below, and that they were more than likely caused by the gravitational pull of the Earth. These quakes cause ruptures and cracks on the surface, in pretty much the same way earthquakes affect our planet.

The Moon Is the 5th Largest Satellite in the Solar System

The Moon is actually much smaller than other planets like Jupiter and Saturn. It also has 80 times less volume than the Earth. However, it still ranks as the 5th largest natural satellite in the solar system. Some astronomers have a theory that at one stage in time, the Moon and the Earth were actually fused together and that they were split apart after a huge chunk of Earth broke away when an unidentified object collided with it.

The Surface of the Moon Actually Has Mountains and Valleys!

Surface of the Moon

Surface of the Moon

This may surprise many people, as we don’t tend to think of the Moon as having many similar qualities to our own planet. It is true, however, that the Moon does have many natural features such as mountains, valleys and even lava plains. The craters on the surface were believed to have been formed at least 3-billion years ago, when meteors hit the Moon.

Amazing! Apollo Astronauts’ Footprints Are Still Visible on the Surface of the Moon

Apollo astronaut 'footprint' in the lunar dust

Apollo astronaut ‘footprint’ in the lunar dust

Even more amazing is that although they were left there over 40 years ago, they will still be visible in 10 million years’ time! That’s an amazing fact. The reason these markings will remain untouched is that there never has been, and never will be, any erosion to the surface of the moon.

Earth’s Rising and Falling Tides Are Caused by The Moon

The Earth actually has two prominent bulges that are caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon. One of these can be seen on the side that faces the Moon and the other on the side facing away from the Moon. When the Earth rotates, these bulges move around within the oceans and cause what we know to be high and low tides. Our tides are directly related to the waxing and waning of the Moon.

The Next Planned Moon Landing Is in 2019

The penultimate of our Moon facts tells us about the next planned Moon landing. There haven’t been any successful human missions to the moon in over 40 years, but NASA are planning the next landing for the year 2019. They are aiming to set up a permanent Space Station there this time so that there can be more missions and more landings over the coming decades.

In the 1950s the USA Thought About Detonating a Nuclear Bomb on The Moon

The last of our interesting Moon facts imparts this scary story to us. During the height of the Cold War, it is believed that the USA considered trying to detonate a nuclear bomb on the surface of the Moon. They had implemented a plan called A Study of Lunar Research Flights. It was apparently an exercise in trying to expand knowledge of the solar system and how the planets work, but in the end was cancelled due to a fear there would be too much negative public reaction. It was decided that a more popular idea would be to try and get human beings to land on the moon instead, which happened a decade later.

Moon Facts – Facts about the Moon Summary

Moon FactsFacts about the Moon show us that it is, over time, starting to drift away from planet Earth and that contrary to popular belief, there is no dark side to it at all. Since Moon landings have occurred, only 12 men have set foot on the Moon – and all were from the USA. If you were to visit the Moon, you’d weigh a sixth of what you do on Earth. The Moon, like Earth, experiences quakes under its surface, which cause similar damage to those on Earth. Finally, the surface of the Moon has mountains, valleys and water.