Interesting Key Facts about the Earth's Moon

The Earth's Moon Facts

No one can imagine the birth of the universe without the existence of the moon. The moon is the source of light in the deep black nights. It serves as the flashlight in the deserts, and the guide for the harvest. It also helps in determining the time of the river flood. Moreover, some people use the moon in the science of astronomy. The scientists, who study this science, take the moon as their own source and reliable one to know the relation between the stars and what they stand for. At the surface of the moon, there is no air to breath. Because of that, no human, animal or even plant can live there. The scientists have determined that the moon moves around the Earth in an oval shaped orbit. They also back to the information about the creation of the moon to the collision that happened between the Earth and other space object. This collision produces a big mass of rocky material that throw out into space and shape the moon. The Moon’s shape is a little lopsided. Its outside layer is thicker from one side than the other. The Moon is much smaller than the Earth. However, the attraction of its gravity can still affect the Earth's ocean tides. From the Earth people can see one side of the moon and the moon does not rotate to see the other side of it, so astronauts the only people who can see the other side as they can travel to the space.

Temperatures of the Moon:

The temperature of the moon changes between day and night. Temperatures on the moon are very hot during the daytime. It reaches about 100 degrees C. However, at night, the surface of the moon changes from hot to become very cold. During the night, the temperature becomes 173 degrees C. This extreme change happens because the surface of the moon has no atmosphere to decrease the hot temperature during the daytime and to regulate the cold temperature during the night. Therefore, the astronauts protect themselves on the moon from the extreme difference in temperatures by their spacesuits. These suits have several layers of insulating material, which cover with a highly reflective outer layer. Moreover, these suits contain internal heaters and cooling systems. They create these suits after many experiments, due to the huge change in the temperature above the moon’s surface from extreme heat during the daytime to coldness during the nighttime.

The Orbit of the Moon:

The orbit of the moon is very closely circular (eccentricity ~ 0.05). The distance that separates the orbit of the moon and the Earth is about 384,000 km, which is about 60 Earth radii. However, the level of the orbit is slanted for about 5 degrees with respect to the ecliptic level. Moreover, the astronauts see that the moon moves completely around the celestial sphere once in about 27.3 days, it is also called a sidereal month. The moon takes 29.5 days to return to the same point on the celestial sphere as pointed to the sun. This is because the movement of the Earth around the Sun which is called a synodic month. The moon directs toward East among the constellations to go completely around the sky in 27.3 days, therefore it must move Eastward by 13.2 degrees each day. Since the celestial sphere seems to turn 1 degree about every 4 minutes, the Moon crosses our celestial meridian about 52.8 minutes later each day. Finally, the moon’s rotational period is about 27.3 days that accurately match its sidereal period of revolution about the Earth. The tidal coupling between the Earth and moon results the fasting of the periods of revolution and rotation, so the moon always keeps essentially the same face turned toward the Earth.

Distance between the Moon and the Earth:

The moon is the brightest object in our Earth’s night sky and the closest celestial body. It also provides the Earth advantages to the life of people, animals, and plants on the Earth. During the past decades till now, and people study the moon by eye, telescope and images from spacecraft. Many questions occupy the minds of the astronauts, from these questions; what is the distance between the Moon and the Earth? By the help of the devices, the astronauts reach that the average distance to the moon is 382,500 kilometers. This number changes because the moon travels around the Earth in an elliptical orbit. The perigee is the point that the moon is closest to Earth. From this point, the distance between the moon and the Earth is approximately 360,000 kilometers. On the other hand, the apogee is the point that the moon is farthest from Earth. From this point the distance is approximately 405,000 kilometers. According to humans, the distance to reach the moon from Earth is so far. They also make many astronomy trips to the moon and it takes days to reach it. Apollo is one of the missions that travel to the moon in three days; however, the quickest trip to the moon is the New Horizon. This trip takes only eight hours and thirty-five minutes to reach the moon. Therefore, day by day scientists invents new devices and customizes their spacecraft to save time and efforts to discover new knowledge about the space.

The Size of the Moon:

No one can determine the accurate size of the moon by human eye. This is because the far distance between the Earth and the moon that deceives the human eye when he or she observe from the Earth. This means that when people look to the sky, they see all the stars and planets appear to be of the same size and distance. In the past decades, astronomers believe that all the stars are at the same distance, size and distance from the Earth. Of course, this is wrong information, as the recent scientists know that there is a difference in size between each star and planet in the space.

The Moon appears larger than the stars in the sky; this is because it is closest celestial body to the Earth. The moon’s size is more than one-fourth (27 percent) the size of the Earth. Its size is a much smaller than any other planets and their moons. However, the Earth’s moon is the fifth largest moon in the solar system. The moon’s surface area is about 14.6 million square miles, which is 38 million square kilometers. This is less than the total surface area of the continent of Asia, which is about 44.5 million square kilometers.

The Moon Description:

In the first decades the moon is known by many names such as, Luna by the Romans, Selene and Artemis by the Greeks, and other names in mythologies. The moon is the second brightest object in the sky after the Sun. The first visit to the moon was held by the Soviet spacecraft in 1959. The first sample from the moon to the Earth was taken by the Soviet and it was a historical moment. The moon is the Earth’s only natural satellite and it is formed 4.6 billion years ago around some 30-50 million years after the formation of the solar system. The moon’s rotation moves parallel to the movement of the Earth, therefore we always see one side of the moon and the other side can be seen from the space.

Interesting Facts about the Moon:

1- Circumference at Equator: 10,917.0 km
2- Diameter: 3,475 km
3- Mass: 73,476,730,924,573,500 million kg (0.0123 x Earth)
4- Orbits: The Earth
5- Average Distance from Earth: 384,400 km
6- Length of Orbit: 27.3 Earth days
7- Surface Temperature: -233 to 123 °C

Moreover, the moon’s circumference at the Equator is 10,917.0 kilometers. Its own diameter is about 3,475 kilometers. Its mass is about 73,476,730,924,573,500 million kilometers. Its orbit is the Earth as it named the Earth’s moon, because each planet has its own moon and solar system that serves it. However, its average distance from the Earth is about 384,400 kilometers. The length of the orbit of the moon is about 27.3 Earth days and its surface temperature is -233 to 123 °C.

The Components of the Moon:

The idea of the components of the moon occupies the minds of many humans. The Moon’s soil is the major feature that characterizes the moon. It is not the same soil that we can see on Earth; its type is dustier than the Earth’s soil. Lunar rocks place the second level in the moon’s major components. The rocks on the moon are identical with the rocks from the Earth. The rocks are made of silica and alumina. The scientists believe that they formed from magma crystallization, in a short time after the formation of the moon.

Craters are another major feature that spread on the moon. They are round basins that can measure one inch or hundreds of miles. These types of craters are formed when comets, asteroids, or meteoroids crash the surface of the moon. The hugest crater is the Aitken basin, which is presented as the largest basin the whole solar system. Valleys are another feature and the most interesting one among the others. The valleys are formed from volcanic eruptions; however, some studies show that some valleys are made because of the erosive effect of water. The largest valley on the moon is named, Snellius.

The moon consists of core, mantle and crust. The inner core is made of a solid iron and is surrounded by a liquid iron, which forms the outer core. The mantle consists of part of a molten layer and a zone of solidified magma. The crust is made of lava. The core and mantle thickness are about 190 miles and 120 miles respectively.

The Miracle of Splitting the Moon in Islam:

The miracle of the splitting of the moon occurs before the migration to Medina by the permission of God and it observes by the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). This event is narrated by Anas B. Malik et al. This event occurs between Prophet Muhammad and the polytheists. It happens to convince them that there is a God that can do anything and he is the one who creates the whole universe. The polytheists mock the words of Muhammad, and ask him to make his God splits the moon and they became Muslims. On the 14th night, when it was a full moon, Prophet Muhammad asks God to split the moon. God accepts his prayers and the polytheists witness the splitting of the moon on the 14th night. When God splits the moon in half; one half appears over Mount Abu Qubais and the other half over Mount Quayqian.

The Moon Illusion:

The moon illusion is an optical illusion that makes humans see the moon large and near the horizon and sometimes small and far from their sights. According to Aristotle, the appearance of the moon in its large side is due to a real magnification effect, which is caused by the Earth’s atmosphere. However, recent scientists refuse this information and say that the visual image of the moon is about 1.5% smaller when it is near the horizon. They say that atmospheric refraction makes the image of the moon smaller in the vertical direction. 

Another experiment confirms that the moon illusion is caused by the way our eyes focus on distant and close objects. The man looks to the horizon moon at a great distance; therefore, he lacks the visual cues that tell how far the moon is, so the man looks at it as if it is near his eyesight. This is due to the raises tides on the Earth. One side of the Earth faces the moon is closer which makes a stronger pull of gravity than the center of the Earth. The gravity on the other part of the Earth that faces away from the moon is decreased. Another reason is that the Earth rotates faster than the moon orbits that make the moon get far from the earth each year. Tidal friction is also caused by the movement of the tidal bulge around the Earth. This takes energy out of the Earth and puts it into the Moon's orbit, making the Moon's orbit bigger.

Theories that Offer the Formation of the Moon:

The Fission Theory: The Moon is a part of the Earth and early splits from the Earth in the history of the Solar System. The present Pacific Ocean basin is the most popular site on the Earth.
The Capture Theory: The Moon was formed and was later seized by the gravitational field of the Earth.
The Condensation Theory: The Moon and the Earth are created together from the original nebula that formed the Solar System.
The Colliding Planetesimals Theory: The interaction between the orbit of the Earth and Sun leads to the division that forms the moon.

Geological Activation of the Moon:

According to the geological activation of the moon, scientists try to find an accurate answer for this sentence but till now they cannot. They travel to the moon through many trips to discover the geological activation of the moon. Some of them say that there is a geological activation due to the observation of some lava that comes from the moon. Moreover, they observe some changes on the surface of the moon that indicates a geological activation on the moon. On the other hand, some scientists back these phenomena to anything else except believing that the surface of the moon can change. The surface of the moon is not flat due to the existence of solid soil, rocks, valleys and levels. These components draw the surface of the moon with many shapes that looks high and down.

Stages of the Moon:

The moon consists of a number of stages such as the new moon and full moon, first quarter and third quarter, and the phases in between. The new moon appears when the moon is located between the earth and the sun. The full moon happens when the earth, moon, and sun are in approximate arrangement. The first quarter and third quarter moons take place when the moon is at a 90-degree angle with the earth and the sun. The phases in between are the illuminated slice gradually changes between them. Therefore, the stage of the moon has been a matter of study since the beginning of the life. People have been wondering about how the shape of the moon changes from time to time. They have started to divide the monthly life of the moon in many phases. That is because the moon is a very important sky creature and it is also regarded as a symbol of many things.

The Relation between the Moon and Ramadan Month:

The relation between the moon and Ramadan month in Islam  happens because Ramadan is determined by the appearance of the moon in the sky. The scientists and the religious people observe the moon at the end of the previous month before Ramadan to determine the day that Muslim people start to stop eating and drinking. This relation is very important, as when Muslims know that the day after is Ramadan they begin to fast. The Islamic calendar, which is the Hijri calendar, depends totally on the moon. Hence the moon is the basic determiner of the beginning and the end of the months. The Georgian calendar differs from the Islamic calendar as it depends on the sun to determine the beginning and the end of the months.

There Is no Gravity on the Moon:

There is no gravity on the moon due to the small mass of the moon according to the Earth. Gravity is the force that attracts physical objects together. This force does not exist on the surface of the moon. Moreover, there is no air or oxygen in the atmosphere. This lack of gravity on the surface of the moon leads to the acceleration of the moon’s rotation, because it makes the mass of the moon lesser than the Earth. It is also known that the more less the thing is, the more it can move quickly than the heavier one. This lack of gravity make many astronauts enjoy travelling to the moon and flying on the air.

Relation between Sun and Moon:

The Sun is the main source of energy for living beings on Earth. The sunlight is so bright that makes us cannot see the shape or the feel the mass of it, but we can realize its light, shape and energy by the Moon. This is because we can open our eyes to the moon, so the Moon gives form of the energy we receive from the Sun. Another relation is that the Sun and the Moon work together to produce the tides on Earth. The rise of the tides comes from the gravitational pull of the Moon with a small pull from the sun. However, when they both are on the same side of the Earth, they make the highest and lowest tides. Moreover, when they are on contrary sides of the Earth, the tides are less extreme.


The moon is a planet that is related to the Earth. This is because in the space each planet from the nine planets has its own solar system that moon is one of it. The moon is an important body to the Earth, because living beings are live from its support for them. It also helps in offering light in the deep dark places to show the roads. By its light, it can guide people who live in the desert for the directions. It can help to decrease the high temperature of the Sun on the Earth, and protects humans, animals, and plants from death.

Interesting Key Facts about the Moon of the Earth

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