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

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

First Step

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

Lunar Celebration

The ancient Chinese greeted solar eclipses by using noisemakers and by shooting arrows toward the heavens.

Space Face

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

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.

One Small Step ...

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

Shaping the Moon

Between 4.5 and 4.3 billion years ago, a giant object hit the moon near its south pole and formed the South Pole-Aitken Basin, one of the two largest proven impact basins in the solar system.

Two NASA LRO Videos: "Evolution of the Moon" and "A Tour of the Moon."

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.

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.

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).

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.

Super Harvest Moon

September's full moon is referred to as the "Harvest Moon" because it occurs during harvest-time. The next "super" harvest moon will not occur until 2029.

Ancient Rocks

Moon-rock ages range from about 3.2 billion years in the maria (dark, low basins) to nearly 4.6 billion years in the terrae (light, rugged highlands). Active geologic forces, including plate tectonics and erosion, continuously repave the oldest surfaces on Earth whereas old surfaces persist with little disturbance on the moon.

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.

Massive Impact Basin

Did you know the largest impact basin in the Earth-moon system is the South-Pole-Aitken basin on the moon measuring 2,500 km in diameter?

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.

Genesis Rock

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

Familiar Face

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

Moon Day

A lunar day (or the time it takes from sunrise to sunrise) on the moon is approximately 708 hours.

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