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Moon : the earth’s natural satellite (see satellite 2a) that shines by the sun’s reflected light, revolves about the earth from west to east in about 291⁄2 days with reference to the sun or about 271⁄3 days with reference to the stars, and has a diameter of 2160 miles (3475 kilometers), a mean distance from the earth of about 238,900 miles (384,400 kilometers), and a mass about one eightieth that of the earth (often capitalized : usually used with the) — Webster
The Moon is an astronomical body that orbits planet Earth, being Earth’s only permanent natural satellite. It is the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System, and the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of the planet that it orbits (its primary). Following Jupiter’s satellite Io, the Moon is second-densest satellite among those whose densities are known. The average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 384,400 km (238,900 mi), or 1.28 light-seconds.
The Moon is in synchronous rotation with Earth, always showing the same face, with its near side marked by dark volcanic maria that fill the spaces between the bright ancient crustal highlands and the prominent impact craters. It is the second-brightest regularly visible celestial object in Earth’s sky, after the Sun, as measured by illuminance on Earth’s surface. Its surface is actually dark, although compared to the night sky it appears very bright, with a reflectance just slightly higher than that of worn asphalt. Its prominence in the sky and its regular cycle of phases have made the Moon an important cultural influence since ancient times on language, calendars, art, and mythology.
The Moon’s gravitational influence produces the ocean tides, body tides, and the slight lengthening of the day. The Moon’s current orbital distance is about thirty times the diameter of Earth, with its apparent size in the sky almost the same as that of the Sun, resulting in the Moon covering the Sun nearly precisely in total solar eclipse. This matching of apparent visual size will not continue in the far future. The Moon’s linear distance from Earth is currently increasing at a rate of 3.82 ± 0.07 centimetres (1.504 ± 0.028 in) per year, but this rate is not constant. — Wikipedia
Moon News -- ScienceDaily Moon News. Current science articles on the Moon. Read about the new lunar mission being planned, how the "Man In The Moon" was created, moon landing facts and more. Images.
Mercury's thin, dense crust
on April 27, 2018 at 2:03 pm
A planetary scientist has used careful mathematical calculations to determine the density of Mercury's crust, which is thinner than anyone thought. […]
Magma ocean may be responsible for the moon's...
on April 25, 2018 at 1:38 pm
Around four billion years ago, the moon had a magnetic field that was about as strong as Earth's magnetic field is today. How the moon, with a much smaller core than Earth's, could have had such a strong magnetic field has been an unsolved problem in the history of the moon's evolution. A new model […]
Water appeared while Earth was still growing
on April 9, 2018 at 1:01 pm
Cosmo-chemists have performed the largest study to date of oxygen isotopes in lunar rocks, and found a small but measurable difference in the makeup of the moon and Earth. The research proposes that Earth acquired the majority of its water during the main stage of its growth -- which counters a […]
Space radiation more hazardous: Implication sfor...
on March 15, 2018 at 3:06 pm
It might sound like something from a science fiction plot - astronauts traveling into deep space being bombarded by cosmic rays - but radiation exposure is science fact. As future missions look to travel back to the moon or even to Mars, new research cautions that the exposure to radiation is much […]
Mineralogy of potential lunar exploration site
on February 28, 2018 at 8:30 pm
Scientists have long wanted to retrieve rock samples from the Moon's South Pole-Aitken basin, and a new study could be helpful in locating an ideal landing site. […]