Facts About the Moon: Knowledge is power. In this series of articles, we collect fascinating and sometimes unexpected facts about the world around us. We hope you find them not only interesting, but also practically useful. The cosmos is full of amazing facts and mysterious things. However, it is not at all necessary to look for them in the depths of distant galaxies. One of the most interesting space objects is located right next to us. This is the moon.
Table of contents – Moon Facts
1. The Origin of the Moon
Scientists are already aware of the origins of various planets, stars, black holes and even entire galaxies. But there are still doubts about the origin of our satellite, the moon. Some maintain that the Moon and the Earth were formed at the same time from a gas and dust cloud. Others believe that the Moon was just a passing object which got captured by Earth’s gravitational force. Recently, however, a third theory has become the most widespread. According to the giant impact hypothesis, several billion years ago, the protoplanet Earth collided with a planet-size rock, Theia. As a result of this collision, the debris was thrown into orbit and subsequently our satellite was formed from it. New analysis of lunar rocks supports the idea that the moon was formed following a gigantic collision.
2. Dark Side of the Moon
Everyone is familiar with the statement that the Moon is always facing the Earth with one side. This is because the period of rotation of the moon around its own axis exactly coincides with the period of its rotation around the earth. Such amazing accuracy, of course, cannot be the result of a simple coincidence. Some pseudoscientists put forward the thesis that our Moon is an object of artificial origin. Although in fact everything is explained by the mutual attraction of two astronomical objects.
3. Moon and Sun
Everyone has heard of solar eclipses, and many have even experienced one. Solar eclipses occur when the Moon, moving around the Earth, gets between our planet and the Sun and completely or partially obscures it. This is due to another surprising coincidence. The fact is that the Moon is 400 times closer to us than the Sun, and at the same time, its diameter is approximately 400 times less than that of the Sun. Therefore, for an observer from Earth, the sizes of the Moon and the Sun seem to be almost the same and the Moon covers the Sun completely.
4. Moon’s Atmosphere
The Moon’s atmosphere is 10 trillion times less dense than Earth’s and is composed primarily of hydrogen, helium, neon and argon. Due to the extremely thin atmosphere on the moon, there is no twilight, and the change of day and night occurs almost instantly. For the same reason, the shadows on the moon are much darker than the earth’s shadows. The moon is a world of obsolete contrast without any midtones. During NASA’s lunar missions, as soon as astronauts entered the moon’s shadows, they could no longer work, since they were not able to see their arms and legs.
5. Lunar Burial – Facts About the Moon
Eugene Shoemaker is an American scientist, planetary scientist and founder of astrogeology. All his life he dreamed of flying to space, but due to health problems he could not do it. By his will, he became the first person whose remains were buried on the moon. Eugene Shoemaker’s ashes were brought to the Moon aboard the Lunar Prospector.
6. Who Owns the Moon?
In the mid-70s of the last century, when it seemed that the exploration of the Moon would begin very soon, the UN was concerned about its legal status. As a result, an agreement was concluded according to which no state can arrogate to itself the right of exclusive ownership of any space objects and territory on them.
However, an American citizen Dennis Hope noted that this agreement is only about organizations and states, but not about individuals. Therefore, he unilaterally declared himself the owner of the Moon and organized a lunar embassy on Earth, on behalf of which he sent diplomatic notes to all states justifying his right. You may laugh at this weirdo, but he quickly became a millionaire selling lunar lots.
7. Avatars on the Moon
The famous science fiction film “Avatar” was released in 2009. And already in February 2010, NASA presented a new project for the exploration of the moon. The organization suggested that research and construction of objects on the moon will be carried out by robot avatars. In this case, it will not be necessary to create special living units and life support systems, which can significantly simplify and speed up the task.
To control robot avatars, NASA experts suggest using high-tech telepresence systems combined with a virtual reality (VR). The expectation is that there will be many kinds of robots that are specialized for different purposes.
Virtual reality’s promise is to engage a human operator with a task in a way that is very similar to what they engage with in the real world. NASA has used virtual reality in mission rehearsals for crew members at the Dallas Space Center for many years.