The Moon has been a source of mystery for thousands of years. We often watch its changing shape and differing positions in the sky and as a species have been mesmerised by its beaty for thousands of years. In ancient times, the Moon was the biggest source of light at night. Called Luna by the Romans, Selene and Artemis by the Greeks, it is said that even today the influence of the moon can have a profound effect on people and its influences can be seen on a geographical, physiological and physiological basis.
* The Moon is the only natural satellite of the Earth and orbits at an average distance of 384,000 kilometres. Interestingly the Moon could have a sister. In 1986 scientists found a large asteroid that will take 770 years to complete an orbit around the Earth and will continue to do so for the next 5000 years. It has been named Cruithne. And although these two bodies are not gravitationally linked, and the asteroid actually orbits the sun it has been suggested that it can be loosely regarded as a quarai moon of earth because part of its path brings it close enough to pass through the Earths orbit.
* The Moons weight is one eightieth of the Earth.
* The diameter of the moon is 2,160 miles (3,476 kilometers.
* It has a surface gravity of only one-sixth to that of the Earth. The moon orbits the Earth at an average speed of 2,300 miles an hour (3,700 kilometers an hour) and it takes 27.3 days to make one orbit around the Earth.
* The moon has a similar internal structure to the Earth (probably between 2 percent and 4 percent of its mass )
* Its surface is heavily pitted with meteorite craters. These were created between 4.1 billion and 3.8 billion years ago.
*The tides on Earth are caused mostly by the moon.
* The Moon is not round. It is shaped like an egg and is about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) off-center.
* We only ever see one side of the moon’s surface.
* The Moon has no global magnetic field, although from the study of rock collected from the surface it suggests that a younger moon may have had one.
* The main theory to how the moon was formed is the impact theory’. This suggests that millions of years ago a young earth had a major impact from space and that the Moon was formed as a result.
* The Moon was first visited by the Soviet spacecraft Luna 2 in 1959. And the first actual landing was made on July 20, 1969 at Mare Tranquillitatis.
Even today the moon continues to fascinate us, excite us and surprise us. It is still yielding important evidence which is helping scientists to study many elements which make up our understanding about how the universe works.