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  • 1. Earth’s Moon Earth Science 1st Semester
  • 2.
    • Most of the knowledge about the Moon comes from the Apollo Missions conducted by the Unites States between the years 1969 and 1972 .
  • 3.
    • Some information that has been determined at this point is that the Moon has a density of 3.3 g/mL , while the Earth has a density of 5.5g/mL
    • The difference is due to the Moon having a small iron core.
    • As a result of its small mass the Moon has 1/16 th the gravity of the Earth.
  • 4.  
  • 5. The Lunar Surface
    • The moon has no liquid water on its surface nor any form of an atmosphere .
    • As a result, the Moon’s surface cannot be worn down by the action of moving wind and water, a process called weathering and erosion on Earth.
  • 6.  
  • 7.
    • The Moon is not tectonically active right now, so volcanic eruptions do not occur any longer
  • 8.
    • Since the Moon has no atmosphere, particles from space continually bombard its surface, gradually smoothing out the landscape .
  • 9. Craters
    • The term used to describe round depressions in the surface of the moon .
    • There are many, the largest being the width of the state of Indiana.
  • 10.  
  • 11.
    • Craters are caused by the impact of rapidly moving meteoroids .
    • Meteoroids are small solid particles of rock or metal that travel through space.
  • 12.
    • In contrast to the Moon, the Earth has very few recognizable craters on its surface.
  • 13.
    • When meteoroids come through Earth’s atmosphere , the friction that is caused tends to burn most of them up.
  • 14.
    • The ones that do make it leave little evidence for us to examine today, as the forces of erosion, and plate movement have erased most of the craters.
  • 15. Formation of a Crater
    • When a meteoroid strikes the surface of the moon, it will compress the material that it strikes.
  • 16.
    • There will be some rebound , where material is thrown back up from the new crater.
  • 17.
    • Most of this ejected material will land near the crater and build a rim around it .
    • The heat generated by the impact is enough to melt rock into molten glass .
  • 18.
    • The larger craters on the Moon, like Kepler and Copernicus, are believed to be relatively young because of the bright rays or splash marks that radiate out form the crater.
  • 19.  
  • 20. Highlands
    • This moon landscape feature makes up most of the lunar surface .
    • These densely pitted, light colored areas contain mountain ranges whose peaks reach as high as the Himalayas on Earth.
  • 21.  
  • 22. Mare
    • The term given to any dark, relatively smooth area on the moon’s surface. If there is more than one, they are called maria .
  • 23.
    • They were thought to have originated when asteroids were able to puncture the lunar surface, releasing magma from the interior.
  • 24.
    • Asteroids are relatively small, rocky bodies with a size from a few hundred kilometers to less than a kilometer.
  • 25.
    • Scientists have determined that the maria are comprised of a type of hardened lava known as basalt .
  • 26.
    • Scientists theorize that the material that fills the maria could be thousands of kilometers thick.
  • 27.
    • A surface feature known as a rille is associated with maria.
    • Rilles look very much like valleys or trenches .
    • Scientists think they may be the remnants of ancient lava flows.
  • 28. Regolith
    • Any lunar terrain will be covered with a layer of grey debris from the millennia of bombardment from meteorites.
    • This soil like layer is called a lunar regolith .
  • 29.
    • It is composed of volcanic rocks, bead like glass, and really fine lunar dust .
  • 30.
    • In portions of the Moon explored by astronauts, the lunar regolith was over three meters thick.