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Moon: NASA's Lunar Portal
Return to Solar System Exploration
Moon Facts
Moon Fact
Heavyweight

Total weight: of the moon is 74 sextillion km (that's 81 quintillion tons).

EYES on LADEE: Explore the Moon in 3D
Moon Facts
Space Face

Can you spot the face of the man on the moon?

First Interaction with the Moon

In 1940, the Diana Project was the first experiment to successfully bounce radio signals off the moon.

The Moon Festival

Did you know the Chinese and Vietnamese have a festival each year to celebrate the moon?

Surface Boundary Exosphere

The atmosphere of the moon, called a surface boundary exosphere, is likely the same type of atmosphere found on many other planets.

Friendly Face

Many of us see a man in the moon -- a human face smiling down at us from the lunar surface. Scientists say the fact that we see a face may be the result of the rate at which the moon slowed down before becoming locked into its current orientation.

Orange Rocks on the Moon

How did orange soil appear on the moon? This mystery began when astronaut Harrison Schmidt noticed the off-color patch near Apollo 17's Taurus-Littrow landing site in 1972. Astronauts scooped up some of the unusual orange soil for inspection back on Earth. Lunar geologists now think that the orange soil was created during an ancient fire-fountain.

Prince of Tides

There are two high tides and two low tides every day on every beach on Earth. This is due to the moon's pull.

Long Gone

There are no active volcanoes on the moon now. The moon's volcanoes have been extinct for billions of years.

Our Drifting Moon

Did you know the moon is moving away from the Earth at a rate of 1.5 inches per year?

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Snow Moon

Native Americans referred to February's full moon as "Snow Moon." This is due to the cold and snowy weather typically found during the month of February.

Moon Phases

Full moons occur every 29.5 days. The moon keeps the same side to us, but not always the same face. Because of the tilt and shape of its orbit, observers see the moon from slightly different angles over the course of a month.

First Step

The first human being walked on the moon on 20 July 1969.

Communication with LADEE

Unlike past missions, LADEE will be using lasers instead of radio waves to communicate with mission control.

Mighty Minotaur

LADEE will be launched on an five-stage Minotaur V rocket. The first three stages of the Minotaur V are former Peacekeeper ballistic solid rocket motors. The fourth and fifth stages are commercial motors.

A Closer Look

This close-up image of the lunar surface is from the Luna 9 lander in the Oceanus Procellarum. This is the first image from the surface of the moon.

Seeing Seas

The face of the moon is marked by regions, called mare (Latin for "sea"). Galileo, who thought the dark featureless areas were bodies of water, named these regions. We now know them to be basalt (a type of lava) filled impact basins.

Moon Gods

Most ancient religions had a moon god or goddess. One Roman moon goddess was named Luna, and this is why many modern words associated with the moon have "Luna" as their root.

Even Dozen

Only 12 people have ever walked on the surface of the moon.

The Wolf Moon

When the snows were deep in January, wolf packs would often howl near Native American villages, prompting the title "full wolf moon" for the first full moon in January (according to climatologist Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University).

Earthrise

Seeing the Earth rise from the moon never gets old.

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Last Updated: 11 Jul 2013