The Moon

A look at our nearest neighbor in Space!

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What is the Moon?
• A natural satellite • One of more than 96 moons in our Solar System • The only moon of the planet Earth

Location, location, location!
• About 384,000 km (240,000 miles) from Earth • 3,468 km (2,155 miles) in diameter (about ¼ the size of Earth)

• Debris eventually was influence by Earth’s gravity and formed the moon we have today. throwing a huge amount of debris into orbit. • Scientists believe a very large body hit the Earth early in its development.Birth of the Moon • First Stage • Moon originally was once part of the Earth. .

Third Stage •The outer surface of the moon cooled. • Meteoroids decreased • Moon cooled completely • Moon changed little in 3 billion years . this mix of rock separated. the surface of the moon was covered by molten rock.Second Stage • After forming a sphere. forming a crust. • Eventually. •Craters started to form from the constant bombardment by meteoroids.

radius is between 300 and 425 kilometers .Cut to the Core • 3 major divisions of the Lunar interior • Crust .average thickness of about 70 kilometers • Mantle • Core .

The Moon’s Surface • No atmosphere • No liquid water • Extreme temperatures – Daytime = 130C (265°F) – Nighttime = -190C (-310 F) • 1/6 Earth’s gravity .

coarse-grained rocks found in the lunar highlands. . creating this layer of crushed rock.The Moon’s Surface •Lunar rocks and dust cover most of the surface • This layer called the regolith •1 – 6 meters deep • The lack of an atmosphere let many more meteorites strike the moon’s surface. and are found everywhere on the moon. •Anorthosites are light-colored. •Breccia contains fragments of other rocks that have melted together.

000 ft) tall • Rilles (trenchlike valleys) .Highlands • Mountains up to 7500 m (25.Lunar Features .

553 miles) across Most formed by meteorite impact on the Moon Some formed by volcanic action inside the Moon .Craters • • • • Bowl shaped depressions Up to 2500 km (1.Lunar Features .

Craters • When meteorites struck surface they “displaced material” • Like a “splash” • Marks left called rays .Lunar Features .

Maria • Originally thought to be “seas” by early astronomers • Darkest parts of lunar landscape • Filled by lava after crash of huge meteorites on lunar surface 3-4 billion years ago • Mostly basalt rock .Lunar Features .

Craters Maria .

not circular Apogee (farthest from Earth) Perigee (closest to Earth) Revolution – Moon orbits the Earth every 27 1/3 days The moon rises in the east and sets in the west The moon rises and sets 50 minutes later each day Rotation – Moon turns on its axis every 27 days Same side of Moon always faces Earth • • .Movements of the Moon • • • • • • Orbit is an ellipse.

Often Referred to the…. Dark Side of the Moon .

Far Side of the Moon • First seen by Luna 3 Russian space probe in 1959 • Surface features different from near side – More craters – Very few maria – Thicker crust .

It’s Just a Phase • Moonlight is reflected sunlight • Half the moon’s surface is always reflecting light • From Earth we see different amounts of the Moon’s lit surface • The amount seen is called a “phase” .

Waxing and Waning • • • • • • • • • New moon Waxing Crescent moon First Quarter moon Waxing Gibbous moon Full moon Waning Gibbous moon Third Quarter moon Waning Crescent moon New moon last (third)quarter w aning M oon m oon orbit`s earth SU N crescent gibbous moon earth full moon new moon gibbous moon crescent w axing M oon first quarter .



it is called the waxing-crescent phase . When the size of the visible portion is increasing. part of the moon becomes visible. As the sun continues to move. and we first see a sliver of the moon.Moon Phases New Moon – the moon is between the sun and the earth. No lighter area of the moon is visible from Earth. and we see the unlighted side.

When the moon has moved through one quarter of its revolution. called a firstquarter phase. . making it larger than a semicircle which is called the waxing-gibbous phase. the moon looks like a semicircle. The lighted portion of the moon continues to increase.

the moon reaches a semi-circle again. it is called a waning-gibbous pha Eventually. creating a full moon phase. but decreasing back to a semicircle. When the moon is not full anymore. When the moon is not full anymore. but decreasing back to a semicircle. now decreasing in the amount of lighten surface. The entire half of the moon is reflecting light off the sun at this phase The moon continues.The moon continues. called the last-quarter phase. the Earth is in between the Sun and the Moon. it is called a waning-gibbous phase. . Halfway through its orbit. now decreasing in the amount of lighten surface.

Eventually. . The light continues to decrease. when finally only a sliver of the moon is visible. called the last-quarter phase. the moon reaches a semi-circle again. which is called the waning-crescent phase.

The second full moon of a month is usually called a blue moon.3 days for the moon to get back to its original position) This means that you usually have one of each phase per month. Sometimes. and the process repeats.The moon is now back where it started. . The whole process takes 29.5 days (an extra 2 days is needed from the 27. two full moons happen in one month.

Plane of earth’s orbit Earth Moon Moon Plane of lunar orbit .

cone shaped part all the sunlight is blocked – Penumbra: outer part of the shadow sunlight is only partially blocked. • About 2-3 per year • Last up to 4 hours .Lunar Eclipses • Moon moves into Earth’s shadow – this shadow darkens the Moon – Umbra: center.

Solar Eclipses • Moon moves between Earth and Sun • Moon casts a shadow on part of the Earth • Total eclipses rare – only once every 360 years from one location! .

The Tides • Tides caused by pull of Moon’s gravity on Earth • High tide – – Side facing Moon and side away from Moon – Every 12 hours. 25 ½ minutes • Low tide – – On sides of Earth .

. A day was defined as the time it takes the Earth to rotate once. month. and year – are determined by the movements of the Earth and moon. calendars were developed to keep more accurate track of time. A year was defined as the time it took the Earth to go around the Sun.The Calendar For a long time. A month was defined as the time required for the moon to go through once cycle. Eventually. The three basic units of a calendar – day. people measured the passage of time by keeping track of the phases of the moon.

The Earth takes 365. 30 too long.5 days. 29 days are therefore too short for a month. A year with 365 days was too short.24 days to go around the sun. The moon makes a complete cycle of phases in 29.Sounds simple. Modern calendars were invented to fix these problems. 366 too long. . however it was soon discovered that these were not whole numbers.

• 1950s to 1960s probes • Neil Armstrong First man on the Moon – July 20. 1969 • Six Apollo missions (1969-1972) – 382 kg (842 lbs) rocks Exploring the Moon • 12 Americans have walked on the moon .



When will we return? .

Moon base of the future? • What would you need to live there? .

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