Fascinating Moon Facts

Our nearest celestial body, the second brightest object in the sky and the only place, outside of Earth, man has stepped foot - The Moon. Check out our fascinating, sometimes surprising and occasionally educational facts about the Moon

  1. The Moon is not made of cheese. It is in fact made of rock and metal, just like Earth.
  2. The Moon is around 385,00 km (240,000 miles) from Earth.
  3. It would take 130 days to reach the Moon by car (if you could). It takes around 13 hours by rocket.
  4. Originally the Moon was far closer to Earth. Possibly up to 20 times closer.
  5. The current theory is that the Moon was originally part of the Earth but a massive collision 4.5 billion years ago caused the separation.
  6. The Moon is very hot and also very cold! The average daytime surface temperature is over 100 degrees Celsius, but that can plummet to -233 degrees at night.
  7. Earth's tides are the result of the Moon's gravitational forces.
  8. It takes 27.32 days for the Moon to orbit the Earth.
  9. Until the Space Age nobody had seen the far side of the Moon. We only ever see one side from Earth.
  10. The Moon is slowly drifting away from the Earth at a rate of 3.8 cm every year.
  11. Measuring around 3,500 km (2,000 miles) in diameter the Moon is approximately a quarter the size of the Earth.
  12. Gravity is much weaker on the Moon – about six times less than it is on the Earth. This means that everything weighs around a sixth of its Earth weight on the Moon.
  13. On the Moon a feather and a hammer fall at the same rate. This experiment was carried out by Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott to show the effect of gravity in a vacuum.
  14. There is no "dark side of the moon". Both sides are illuminated by the Sun at times, just on Earth we never get to see this side.
  15. The first spacecraft to reach the moon was the Soviet "Luna 1" in 1959.
  16. The first human to walk on the Moon was Neil Armstrong in 1969. The most recent was Gene Cernan in 1972.
  17. A total of 12 people have walked on the surface of the Moon. All have been astronauts on the American Apollo missions. A woman has never walked on the Moon.
  18. It takes around three days to travel to the moon by spacecraft. For example Apollo 11 took 75 hours which works out as an average speed of over 3,000 mph (5,000 kph).
  19. February is the only month in which it is possible for their not to be a full moon.
  20. The Moon has mountains and "seas". These are not actual oceans but large impact basins which early astronomers mistook for bodies of water.
  21. The tallest mountain on the Moon is Mons Huygens. At 4,700 metres (15,400 feet) it is around half the height of Mount Everest.
  22. The Moon is a very dusty place. Created by numerous meteor strikes there is no wind to blow it away. It has been suggested this dust may be harmful.
  23. Because of this lack of atmosphere the footprints left by the Apollo astronauts are still as clear as the day they were made, and may well remain so for millions of years.

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