The Moon is just 384,000 km from the Earth, which makes it its nearest celestial neighbor. That’s why it is important to gain as much knowledge as possible about its main characteristics.
After all, we have only one moon, unlike Jupiter, that has 79. Not wanting to know more about it is very irresponsible on our behalf.
So, same as Earth, the Moon is also unique in certain ways, but at the same time ordinary in others.
To paint a better picture of our only natural satellite, we will go through its main characteristics, as well as the ones that are quite ordinary.
10 Characteristics of the Moon
1. The Moon is shaped as Scalene Ellipsoid
That’s mainly due to tidal stretching, as well as from its displaced long axis. The displacement is around 30° and is primarily because of certain gravitational anomalies. But it is tidal forces that are to be mainly blamed for its elongated shape.
2. The Moon is a Differentiated Body
In planetary science, this means different layers of the Moon, or some other planetary body, are separated from each other. Sometimes that’s because of their chemical behavior, while other times, that’s a consequence of some physical activity.
Moon’s core consists of solid iron that has a radius of 150 mi. The inner core has an outer core which consists of liquid iron and has a radius of 190 mi. Next comes a layer of a molten boundary, which is partially molten and whose radius is around 310 mi.
Scientists believe that the Moon’s structure came to be in this form almost 4.5 billion years ago when a global magma ocean underwent a fractional crystalization.
3. Moon’s Gravity
As expected, because of its size and mass, the Moon has a gravity that is ⅙ of Earth’s gravity. So, if someone weighs 210 pounds on Earth, on the Moon would weigh only 35 pounds. That’s possible if that person has the privilege to check his/her weight on the Moon.
That’s the main reason why astronauts that went on the Moon could jump very high, even with all the heavy equipment and the spacesuits they were carrying on themselves.
Moon’s gravity expands beyond the Moon itself and reaches the Earth. As a result, oceans are drawn towards the Moon, which in practice causes the tide. At the same time, the Sun also influences the tide. Therefore, when the Sun and the Moon are in alignment, we experience the highest tides.
4. Moon’s atmosphere is practically identical to the vacuum
The Moon’s atmosphere features a total mass of about 11 tons. As a result, the surface pressure is only 0.3 NPA. However, that can vary throughout the lunar day. Some of the elements that have been detected are potassium, helium, neon, and sodium.
5. Moon’s size
Moon’s size is approximately 27% of the size of the Earth. It is the fifth-biggest natural satellite in the solar system. Its radius is 1,079.6 mi, while the diameter is 2,159.2 miles, which is less than a third of Earth’s width.
6. Moon’s mass
Its mass is 7.35*1022 kilograms. That’s around 1/80 of Earth’s mass.
7. Moon’s temperatures
It’s a good thing that astronauts got their spacesuits and space shuttles. Otherwise, they would find it impossible to withstand the average temperatures on the Moon. On average, the Moon’s temperature on its surface is 107°C. To put it in better perspective, that’s enough heat to boil water on Earth. At night, the average temperature takes a sharp dive and plunges to −153°C.
8. The Moon’s craters
One of the first things that we see when we observe the Moon is its craters. They are a result of both impact from meteors and exploding volcanoes. The outlines of Moon’s greatest craters are even visible with the naked eye.
9. Moon’s orbit
The Moon orbits the planet Earth every 27.3 days. Both the Sun and the Earth influence Moon’s orbit. One such example is the plane on the orbit of the Moon, which partially rotates once every 18 years. That also influences other aspects of Lunar’s positions and motion. Most of that is described mathematically explained by Casoni’s laws.
10. Lunar Eclipses
Since ancient times, people were amazed by lunar eclipses and often related to mystical events, prophecies, and other unnatural events. They didn’t know that during that time, the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon, are aligned in a straight line.
Furthermore, a lunar eclipse can occur only when there is a new, full moon. When the full Moon positions itself between the Earth and the Sun, the shadow of the Moon falls on us.
That is why lunar eclipses are so rare. For example, the last lunar eclipse was in Aug 2017. The next one is expected in April 2024.
What are 10 facts about the moon?
- The Moon’s surface is actually dark.
- The Sun and the Moon are not the same size.
- The Moon is drifting away from the Earth.
- The Moon was made when a rock smashed into Earth.
- The Moon makes the Earth move as well as the tides.
- The Moon has quakes too.
- There is water on the Moon!
What are three features of the moon?
What is special about the moon?
Who is the first person to walk in the moon?
Can everyone on Earth see the moon?
What is the moon going to be tomorrow?
Why does the moon not spin?
Why is the moon always facing us?
Do we ever see the dark side of moon?
What is the dark side of the moon called?
How is moon visible to us?
Which side is moon today?
|Position:||Moon over horizon|
What are four surface features seen on the Moon?
- Maria features. 1.1 Maria and Oceanus. 1.2 Lacus. 1.3 Sinus and Paludes.
- Craters. 2.1 Catenae.
- Mountain ranges.
- Other features.
What is a waning moon?
What is a waning moon look like?
What is the waning moon good for?
The waning moon is a time to renew, withdraw, and rest. This is a good phase to reflect and contemplate what is coming to a close so that you can prepare to plant new seeds or tend to those that need nurturing as the moon makes her way toward the new moon once again.
What are the 12 phases of the moon?
- new Moon.
- waxing crescent Moon.
- first quarter Moon.
- waxing gibbous Moon.
- full Moon.
- waning gibbous Moon.
- last quarter Moon.
- waning crescent Moon.