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?

Back to 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?

While the craters, highlands and maria are the moon’s three main landforms, the moon’s surface has a number of other highly visible features. For example, some impact craters have bright rays that shoot outward from the center. Also, the moon has a number of rilles, which are long, thin tunnels or trenches.

What is special about the moon?

The Moon is unique in that it is the only spherical satellite orbiting a terrestrial planet. Another distinct property the Moon possesses lies in its size compared to the Earth. At 3,475 km, the Moon’s diameter is over one fourth that of the Earth’s. In relation to its own size, no other planet has a moon as large.

Who is the first person to walk in the moon?

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on the moon. He and Aldrin walked around for three hours.

Can everyone on Earth see the moon?

Yes, everyone sees the same phases of the Moon. People north and south of the equator do see the Moon’s current phase from different angles, though. If you traveled to the other hemisphere, the Moon would be in the same phase as it is at home, but it would appear upside down compared to what you’re used to!

What is the moon going to be tomorrow?

The current moon phase for tomorrow is the Waning Gibbous phase. On this day, the moon is 15.4 days old and 98.14% illuminated with a tilt of -43.637°. The approximate distance from Earth to the moon is 365,265.36 km and the moon sign is Capricorn. The Moon phase for tomorrow is a Waning Gibbous phase.

Why does the moon not spin?

Gravity from Earth pulls on the closest tidal bulge, trying to keep it aligned. This creates tidal friction that slows the moon’s rotation. Over time, the rotation was slowed enough that the moon’s orbit and rotation matched, and the same face became tidally locked, forever pointed toward Earth.

Why is the moon always facing us?

“The moon keeps the same face pointing towards the Earth because its rate of spin is tidally locked so that it is synchronized with its rate of revolution (the time needed to complete one orbit). In other words, the moon rotates exactly once every time it circles the Earth.

Do we ever see the dark side of moon?

As the Earth is much larger than the Moon, the Moon’s rotation is slowed down until it reaches a balance point. As this NASA animation shows (right), this means that the same portion of the Moon always faces towards the Earth, and we can never see the far side.

What is the dark side of the moon called?

It has one of the largest craters in the Solar System, the South Pole–Aitken basin. The hemisphere is sometimes called the “dark side of the Moon“, where “dark” means “unknown” instead of “lacking sunlight” – both sides of the Moon experience two weeks of sunlight while the opposite side experiences two weeks of night.

How is moon visible to us?

The moon shines because its surface reflects light from the sun. At any given point in the moon’s trajectory around the Earth, only half of its surface is facing the sun, and therefore, only half of the moon is lit up. The other half of the surface faces away from the sun and is in shadow.

Which side is moon today?

Today’s Moon in Bengaluru
Time:12:00 am
Direction:124°ESE ↑
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.
  • Valleys.
  • Mountains.
  • Mountain ranges.
  • Other features.

What is a waning moon?

Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University When the Moon starts to decrease its angle again, going from 180-degrees back down to 0-degrees, astronomers say that it’s a waning moon. In other words, when the Moon is waning, it will have less and less illumination every night until it’s a New Moon.

What is a waning moon look like?

Waning is the opposite, or decreasing after a full moon, and is always illuminated on the left. Then, there is a waxing or waning Gibbous moon, which means more than half of the moon is illuminated. The last quarter (waning half moon) will look like a lowercase U when it rises and a lowercase N when it sets.

What is the waning moon good for?

Waning Moon: Conscious Endings

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?

How many phases of the Moon are there?
  • new Moon.
  • waxing crescent Moon.
  • first quarter Moon.
  • waxing gibbous Moon.
  • full Moon.
  • waning gibbous Moon.
  • last quarter Moon.
  • waning crescent Moon.

What is tonights moon called?

The Moon’s current phase for today and tonight is a Waning Gibbous Phase. This is the first phase after the Full Moon occurs. It lasts roughly 7 days with the Moon’s illumination growing smaller each day until the Moon becomes a Last Quarter Moon with an illumination of 50%.

What is Moon name?

Our moon’s name is ‘Selene’ (Greek) or ‘Luna’ (Latin).

What is a flower Moon 2020?

The final supermoon of 2020 is known as Flower Moon in reference to the flowers of Spring and came on the heels of the spectacular “Pink Supermoon” that illuminated the world on April 7.