Our Favorite Little Satellite The Moonby Moira Whitehouse PhD
Since the Moon, likeEarth is a rocky bodyand it is not on fire, itdoes not shine.It glows because lightfrom the Sun reflectsfrom the Moon, just asit would from the Earthif we could get farenough away toobserve it.
Although it looks small up there in the sky, themoon is apretty largehunk ofrock. Thediameter ofthe Moon isabout ¼ thediameter ofthe Earth, but Wikipedia commonsbecause it is made from lighter stuff, it is only1/6 of Earth’s mass.
Because the Moon’s mass is less , its gravity isalso less than Earth’s—about one-sixth asmuch.Since weight If this mandepends on weighed 240 lbs ongravity, everythi Earth, heng on the Moon wouldwould weigh weigh onlyabout one-sixth 40 lbs onas much as it the Moon.does on Earth.
Also, everything you lifted would be muchlighter on the Moon that it would be onEarth. However, its mass (the amount ofmatter in it) would not change.
Astronaut Alan Shepard struck two golf ballswith a golf club on the Moon, driving them, ashe jokingly put it, "miles and miles and miles."
Because it has less gravity, astronautsmade some fantastic jumps on the Moon.
Remember the gravitational pull of theMoon though less than that of the Earthcauses water in the oceans to rise and fallresulting in tides.
Thinking about being on the Moon…The following should interest future astronauts: Water on the Moon? Atmosphere on the Moon? The landforms on the Moon?
Scientists recently found up to a billion gallons of water ice in the floor of a permanently-shadowed crater near the moons Water??? south pole. Thats enough, said researchers, to fill 1,500 Olympic-size swimming pools, all from one crater. If there is ice there, itSouth pole of Moon probably exists in other places on the moon as
However, no liquid water or water vapor hasbeen found on the moon.So what are some things that would orwould not exist on the moon?How about:Oceans? Puddles? Plants?Lakes? Rain? Animals?Rivers? Clouds? Bacteria?
The Moon has virtually no atmosphere.Therefore, there is no weather on theMoon, no storms, no rain, no wind, no Atmosphere???snow, but the temperature can fluxuatewildly.The temperature on the Moon ranges fromdaytime highs of about 130°C = 265°F tonighttime lows of about -110°C = -170°F
The fact that the Moon has little or no air orwater affects other things on the Moon.For example, there is no wind or water causedweathering, erosion or deposition on theMoon. Things do not erode.This footprint would look the same today as itdid 30 years ago.
The lack of atmosphere also affects sound aswe know it. For sound to travel, there must bea medium for the waves to travel through.On Earth that would usually be air or water. On the Moon, there is no air, so soundcannot travel above the surface.When the Apollo astronauts were out on theMoons surface, they could only talk to eachother, and to mission control, by using theradios in their air filled helmets.
When the astronaut in the photo hit themoon’s surface with this shovel, nosound was made.
Another result of no atmosphere on the Moon:Even during the day time the sky looks black becausethe atmosphere is not there to scatter sunlight.
What is the surface of the Moon like?The surface of the moon has manylandforms on it such as craters, lavaplains, mountains, hills and valleys.
On a clear night looking at the moon, one can see that there Mare are two types of topography on its surface—the dark colored regions called the maria and Highlands the light-coloredhttp://sos.noaa.gov highlands that/ surround thePhoto of the near side of the Moon maria.
The flat, dark colored, smooth areas from Earth look like “seas”. Early astronomers named them maria (Mare, singular), which means seas in Latin because they thought they were holes filled with water. MariaWhat really happened was thatbetween 3 and 4 billion yearsago, meteors hit the surface of themoon making huge depressions.The basin or crater created by the http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/collision filled with lava from the Moon’s interiorcreating these smooth, flat plains we call maria.
The highlands are hilly and heavily cratered and cover about 80% of the total lunar surface. HighlandsThe far side of the Moon is made up almostentirely of highlands with many many cratersand very few of the dark smooth basinscalled maria.
Both the near and the far side of theMoon have craters. However, the farside has many more craters than thenear side.The vast majority of the moons craterswere formed by the impact ofmeteoroids, asteroids, and comets thatover billions of years bombarded itssurface.
A crater consists of a thin elevated ring forming its perimeter.The surface within the ring is below thesurrounding edge and in the center there isoften a peak.
Möltke – a small bowl-shaped crater Sabine and Ritter larger, more flattened craters Sea of Tranquility The oldest basins are more irregularly shaped; the younger ones a more circular shape.
How did the mountains form on the Moon? Most are either 1. rims or remains of rims of huge craters or 2. peaks in the middle of huge craters
Here we see a diagram of the crater rimand the central peak of a huge impactcrater on the Moon.http://www.enchantedlearning.com
Rim of ahugecraterPeak inthemiddleof ahugecrater
The prominent Sculptured Hills werephotographed by astronauts Schmitt and Cermanon Apollo 17. Although these hills are quiteimpressive, the highest mountains on the moonare 15,000 to 20,000 feet high.
Earth has been more heavily impacted bymeteoroids, asteroids and comets than the Moon.However, presently the Earth has only a fewcraters compared to the Moon .Whereas the Earth’s surface is constantlychanging, the Moon’s surface has changed littleover billions of years.There are two main reasons for the low numberof craters on Earth.One is that most meteoroids burn up beforethey reach the surface of the Earth.The other is that the wind and water erode anycraters that have formed so most are erased.
Astronaut Harrison Schmitt collecting rocksfrom the Moon during the Apollo XVII mission. Does the Moon’s surface have rocks? Big ones and small ones. The astronauts brought back some of the smaller ones.
Here are pictures of two moon rocks theybrought back. The composition of these rocksis similar to Earth rocks. This makes scientiststhink that the Moon was once part of Earth. The only thing about these rocks that changed when they were brought to Earth was their weight-- they weigh more on Earth than they did on the Moon.
What about soil? Does the Moon havesoil?Like Earth, the Moon has a layer of soil butit is very different than the soil found onEarth.
The lunar landscape is covered by a layer of ground-up, finepowdery cinder-like pieces of rock. This "lunar soil” containsno water or organic material. It has been built up over billionsof years by the continuous bombardment of the Moon bylarge and small meteors, asteroids or comets not byweathering and erosion.
Astronaut Edwin E."Buzz"Aldrin, Jr., lunarmodule pilot ofthe first lunarlanding mission, isbeside the U.S.flag during anApollo 11 moonwalk. Thefootprints of theastronauts areclearly visible in
After the earlier period when the maria werebeing formed (3.5-4.5 billion years ago), thesurface of the Moon has not changed verymuch.There are some moonquakes which causeoccasional landslides.The daily heating and cooling of rocksbreaks up the rock but at a very slow rate.Since that time meteors have hit the Moon butvery few compared the heavy bombardment inits early history.