In the wake of the fifty years’ anniversary of the moon landing, let’s learn some Moon Facts. The American Apollo 11 was the first manned mission on the moon. The historical event happened on 20th July 1969. Google has been celebrating the very significant event all weekend with the Google Doodle.
***Plat4om giveaway: Check the picture at the end for a surprise.***
The moon happens to be the closest satellite in the solar system, but lots of mysteries surround it. For one, Scientists have not been able to figure out how the moon formed. Also, they only recently confirmed its shape and texture.
Take a look at some facts about the moon below. Which ones did you know?
The Moon is said to be the perfect size and distance from the earth for solar eclipses. It is just in the right position to appear as the same size as the sun in the sky during a total solar eclipse. It covers the sun perfectly with a corona illuminating its edges when it passes between the Earth and the Sun. It apparently wouldn’t look so right if it was any smaller or further than the Earth.
The full moon has many names, but one thing it isn’t regarded as is being a celestial phenomenon. However, there are lots of myths around the full moon that make it deserve all those many names. Vampire films like Twilight, Buffy the Vampire slayer and Blade attributes rituals to the full moon.
The full moon is often called the harvest moon when it is closest to the western autumn. It also called the wolf moon in January, Sturgeon moon in August, and Strawberry moon in June. There is also the blue moon which happens when a season has four full moons instead of the regular three. The third moon of the four moons is usually labelled a blue moon.
There are plans in place to take everyone to the moon. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveiled a new rocket engine for landing on the moon. He revealed a “Blue Moon” moon lander through his aerospace manufacturing company, Blue Origin. It hopes to send tourists to the edge of space for 10 minutes and possibly get people to tour the Moon.
All these may be possible in a few years because NASA launched a manned lunar landing 50 years ago. There are also plans in place for another lunar mission in the coming years. The American president is actually also calling for it.
The moon is actually shaped like a lemon. It is not a perfectly round shape like it appears in the sky neither is it flat. Apparently, it has an oval shape due to billions of years of hot tidal forces heating up its crust. Gravitational forces from the earth are said to be responsible for the Moon’s oblong appearance.
The earth’s moon is said to be the biggest moon in relation to the planet it orbits. Our moon has a diameter of 2159 miles and a surface area of 14.6 square miles. It is slighter larger than one-fourth the size of the Earth.
There is an astronaut who is actually allergic to the moon. An Apollo 17 astronaut found out he was allergic to the moon matter after a survey was done. Harrison Jack Schmitt had apparently come back from the moon with some moondust. The dust affected him upon taking off his spacesuit. It made him sneeze and gave him red eyes for about two hours.
The moon is locked in synchronous rotation. This means that it takes the moon the same amount of time it takes it to orbit around the earth to make a full rotation. Therefore, it always has the same side facing the earth. Earth’s gravitational forces are said to be responsible for this because it pulls the tip of the Moon towards the earth.
Scientists say there are about 170 moons in our solar system and most of them are around Jupiter and Saturn. Earth has one moon, while Mars has two but Venus and Mercury don’t have any. Our moon is, however, much larger than most.
The moon belongs to everybody but it belongs to no one. It is an international property, and the fact that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on it cannot change that. The Outer Space Treaty was signed in 1967 to ensure that the Moon remains a “global commons.” Any resources found there, therefore, will be used for the good of everyone.
Thanks to the astronauts who visited the moon, there are souvenirs from the earth on the moon. Earth artefacts like golf balls, a message from Queen Elizabeth II. Eugene Cernan and, an initial of an Apollo 17 commander’s daughter was traced into the soil during his visit in 1972. Since there is no wind or weather on the moon, the initials are expected to last forever.
There are controversies over how the Moon was formed. Scientists have not been able to agree on how exactly it came about. A theory probably coined from The Big Bang Theory suggests that an object the size of Earth collided with earth 4.5 billion years ago to form the Moon. This would mean that the Moon contains some elements of the earth. However, that won’t explain how the other moons came about. Maybe just maybe it was created by…. Never mind.
Which of these facts about the moon did you know? Share more moon facts in the comment section below.