Home / Science / The Moon: The constant companion of our planet

The Moon: The constant companion of our planet

The Moon is our constant companion and the only permanent natural satellite on Earth. It has a diameter of approximately 2,159 miles (3,475 kilometers) and is larger than the dwarf planet Pluto . The Moon is a quarter of our planet's size, but has a lower density, which means that gravity is only 0.17 times as strong on the Moon as it is on Earth ,

Related: 5 strange, cool things we've learned recently about the moon

How did the moon form?

The leading theory for the lunar formation suggests that it came about 4.5 billion years ago, not long after the birth of the solar system, which had occurred about 95 million years ago. At that time, many huge space rockets flew around our local interplanetary neighborhood. At that time, astronomers suspect that the early Earth was hit by a body of Mars called Theia. The crash would have melted our world for the most part and probably blown away our atmosphere as well as material that shaped the moon.

Some astronomers have proposed improvements to this hypothesis, such as the possibility that Proto-Earth was transformed into a donut of molten rock called a Synesthesia after Theia had evaporated our planet. As the space frit cooled off again, the material fused on its outer edges to small "moonlets" and finally to the moon. An even stranger theory is that Earth's gravity allowed her to steal the Moon from early Venus.

Regardless of their genesis, the moon was the whole of human history with us and has gained name in ancient languages. The Latin word for our satellite is Luna ̵

1; the English word "lunar" derives from it. In Greek, Selene is the name of a mythical moon goddess who gives us the word "selenology" or the study of the geology of the moon.

How far is the moon from Earth?

The moon rises in the sky, the second brightest object after the sun. It receives its light from the sun, which reflects the light from its surface to the earth. The Moon orbits an average of 384,400 km (238,855 miles) from our planet – a distance close enough that the gravitational forces tethered it tethered to the earth, meaning that we are always facing the same side, [NASA] .

] Related Topics: Moon Facts: Entertaining Information about the Earth's Moon

Such tidal interactions also have consequences for the oceans of our planet, which are dragged by the moon's gravity at regular intervals to rise and fall tide call. Flooding occurs on the side of the earth closest to the moon's attraction, while at the same time it occurs on the other side of our planet due to the inertia of the water. Between these two points there are occasional ebbs.

The moon shines bright in the night sky of the earth and reflects the light of the sun.

[Picture credits: Viacheslav Lopatin / Shutterstock]

The lunar surface

The moon face shows large, dark facial features. These are known in Latin as "Maria" or "seas", as they were once considered to be waters. Today, researchers know that billions of years ago, these areas were carved out of the moon's crust as lava flowed across the lunar surface.

Craters also shape the face of the moon, the result of billions of years of being hit by various space objects. Because the moon has almost no atmosphere or active plate tectonics, erosion can not erase those scars that remain long after the event that created them. On the other side of the moon is the South Pole Aitken Basin – a 2,500 km wide, 13 km deep, hole that is one of the oldest and deepest errors on the Moon. Scientists are still scratching their heads, how it came about .

The lunar surface consists of approximately 43% oxygen, 20% silicon, 19% magnesium, 10% iron, 3% calcium, 3% aluminum, 0.42% chromium, 0.18% titanium and 0.12 wt .-% manganese.

It is believed that there are traces of water in dark regions at its poles that could be mined during future exploration efforts .

The lunar crust is an average of 70 km deep and the rocky crest about 1,330 km thick. The moon consists mainly of iron and magnesium rich rocks. Its relatively small core makes up only 1% to 2% of its mass and is about 680 km wide.

The atmosphere of the moon

An extremely thin gas atmosphere covers the moon, which consists of only 100 molecules per cubic centimeter. In comparison, the Earth's atmosphere at sea level has about one billion billion times more molecules per cubic centimeter. The total mass of all moon gases is about 55,000 pounds. (25,000 kg) – about the same weight as a loaded dump truck.

The Lunar Atmosphere is known to contain argon-40, helium-4, oxygen, methane, nitrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, sodium, potassium, radon, polonium, and even tiny amounts of water. Some of these elements were created by outgassing, as the moon cooled. Others were supplied by comets.

Moon dust is made from extremely sharp and tiny volcanic glass pieces struck by lunar meteorites from the lunar soil. Due to the thin lunar atmosphere, these fragments barely erode and the dust on the moon is corrosive, clogging the equipment and zippers that have brought Apollo astronauts to the moon, and is likely quite toxic to human health .

Water molecules separate from the surface of the moon when it gets too hot and swim into colder areas of its surface and thin atmosphere.

[Picture credits: Goddard Space Flight Center of NASA / Scientific Visualization Studio]

Moon Exploration

Because the Moon is so close, it has been a major human exploration effort from the beginning of the space age and remains the only body besides Earth that people have entered. NASA's historic Apollo program brought astronauts onto the lunar surface for the first time on July 20, 1969, and won the Space Race for the United States.

Instruments placed on the Moon during Apollo have provided scientists with large amounts of data, informing them, for example, that the Moon is about 3.8 centimeters off the Earth each year and that numerous Moonquakes come from cliff-like cracks on the lunar surface. Apollo astronauts also returned 842 pounds. (382 kg) Moon Rocks With Them, according to NASA samples of which are still under investigation to date provide new evidence .

Russian and Chinese probes have also landed on the moon, while the Japanese, Chinese, Russian and Indian space agencies have had spacecraft circling around them. Recently, both India and Israel have tried to place lander on the lunar surface, but both attempts failed . NASA has reaffirmed its interest in the Moon with its Artemis program which aims to place astronauts on its surface by 2024 and use our satellite as a launching pad for Mars.

Additional resources:

Source link