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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
Stuffed Crust

The crust on the far side of the moon is thicker than the crust on the near side.

The far side highlands appear to have formed early in the moon's history, when a magma ocean (shaped by tides caused by Earth's gravity) heated the moon's floating crust non-uniformly. Since then, the magma ocean has solidified.

First Step

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

Weightless? Not Quite

Gravity on the moon is only 1/6 of that found on Earth.

Bright Names

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

Deep Impact

The moon's deepest craters are 4,500 m (15,000 feet). The South Pole-Aitken basin on the moon is an abyss that could engulf the United States from the East Coast through Texas.

Once in a Blue Moon

About every 2.5 years an extra full moon, called a "Blue Moon" occurs.

The term Blue Moon is believed to have originated in 1883 after the eruption of Krakatoa. The volcano put so much dust in the atmosphere that the moon actually looked blue in color. This was so unusual that the term "once in a Blue Moon" was coined.

First Interaction with the Moon

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

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.

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.

One Small Step ...

In 2009, a NASA team restored the first grainy video of Neil Armstrong's first step on the moon.

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

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).

Lunar Mascons

Mass is not distributed uniformly inside the moon. Large mass concentrations ("mascons") lie beneath the surface of many large lunar basins and probably represent thick accumulations of dense lava. Relative to its geometric center, the moon's center of mass is displaced toward Earth by several kilometers.

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.

Our Drifting Moon

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

Read More

Perfect Crater

Linné crater is extremely young, and to a scientist's eye pretty close to perfect. Linné is a beautifully preserved young mare crater.

NASA's Planetary CSI: Crater Science Investigations: Linné Crater

Original Rocks

The rocks of the terrae (the light colored, rugged highlands of the moon) are nearly 4.6 billion years old.

Inverted Moon

As the astronomical telescope with its inverted image came into use, astronomers adopted the habit of representing the way they saw the moon -- upside down. This practice was followed until very recently. Lunar images are now constructed and stored digitally and can be displayed at any orientation. The moon is now typically shown right side up.

Genesis Rock

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

The Moon Festival

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

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