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Image of the Moon and Earth
Image of the Moon and Earth
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Moon: NASA's Lunar Portal
Moon Facts
Moon Fact
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.

EYES on LADEE: Explore the Moon in 3D
Moon Facts
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).

Moon Rocks

Between 1969 and 1972 six Apollo missions brought back 382 kg (842 pounds) of lunar rocks, core samples, pebbles, sand and dust from the lunar surface. In addition, three automated Soviet spacecraft returned important samples totaling 300 g (approximately 3/4 pound).

Bright Names

The light, rugged highlands of the moon are called the "terrae."

Long Road

It would take 135 days to drive by car to the moon at 70 mph.

Moon Water

In 2009, orbiting spacecraft discovered water molecules on the moon.

Genesis Rock

The age of the oldest rock collected by the Apollo astronauts is 4.5 billion years old.

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.

Tiny Temblors

"Moonquakes" are millions of times less powerful than earthquakes.

Is There an Atmosphere on the Moon?

Relative to Earth, the moon is highly depleted in iron and in volatile elements that are needed to form atmospheric gases and water. However, there is an atmosphere.

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.

Who's the Bunny Girl on the Moon?

Apollo 11 Buzz Aldrin to Mission Control, "Okay. We'll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl."

What was he talking about?

Find out here.

The Moon's Earth-like Core

Research suggests the moon possesses a solid, iron-rich inner core with a radius of nearly 150 miles and a fluid, primarily liquid-iron outer core with a radius of roughly 205 miles. Where it differs from Earth is a partially molten boundary layer around the core estimated to have a radius of nearly 300 miles.

Don't Forget Your Space Suit

The moon is 239,000 miles away from the Earth. It would take almost nine years to walk there.

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.

How the Moon Was Formed

The moon was formed ~4.5 billion years ago (about 30-50 million years after the origin of our solar system) out of debris thrown into orbit by a massive collision between a smaller proto-Earth and another planetoid, about the size of Mars.

Common Thread

Scientists think that a large object, perhaps the size of Mars, impacted our young planet and knocked out a chunk of material that eventually became our moon. Distinctive oxygen isotopic compositions of moon rocks and Earth rocks show a common ancestry.

Moon Rocks

Rocks from the moon are similar to three kinds of igneous rocks that are found here on Earth: basalt, anorthosites and breccias.

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.

Mercury to Apollo

Although three of the original Mercury 7 astronauts flew in the Apollo program, only one, Alan Shepard, walked on the moon. Shepard was the first American in space.

Familiar Face

Only about 59 percent of the moon's surface is visible to us here on Earth.

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