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What is The Moon?

So, what Is the moon? When we talk about the moon, the first thing that comes to mind is the yellow spherical body we see in the night sky. But to answer the question of what is the moon in scientific terms, we have to focus on some other moon information. The moon refers to an astronomical body that orbits the Earth and is Earth's only natural satellite. When we focus on the size aspect of moon information, our moon is the fifth-largest in the solar system. When we talk about the moon in terms of density, ours is the second densest moon in the solar system. 

All About The Moon

Now we know what is the moon so let us try to learn in-depth about the moon. When we describe the surface of the moon, we have to talk about the rock and loose dirt that covers it along with craters created by the impact of meteorites. The land surface of the moon is called lunar soil. The moon has no atmosphere; hence like Earth, the meteorites don't get burnt up before hitting the surface, and in the absence of air, there is also no life on the moon. The first human being to land on the moon was the American astronaut Neil Armstrong. While talking about the moon its size stands out since it appears the largest in the night sky, and this is because the moon is our closest celestial neighbor. The stars are much larger than the moon but appear very small because they are far away. These are some important moon information.

Movement Of Moon

The moon is always in synchronous rotation with the Earth, and thus from Earth, we can only see one side of the moon while the other moo is always faced away from us. Owing to libration, a little bit more than half of the total lunar surface is viewable from Earth. The moon has an orbital distance of 384,402 km or 1.28 light seconds, close to thirty times the Earth's diameter. The moon's gravitational effect influences tides and ocean bodies and causes an increase in day's length by a slight margin. This can be considered the function of the moon and the importance of the moon. 

Phases Of The Moon Facts

One may ask why we see different shapes of the moon and other significant moon information. This can be understood when we talk about the moon and its relation to the sun. The shape of the moon changes every day, and this is because the moon does not have any light of its own but only reflects light from the sun. We see only the moon's part, which is illuminated by the light of the sun while the rest of it remains dark. When the moon revolves around the sun, different parts of it are illuminated by the sun, and thus we see a change in shape. When the moon lies between the Earth and sun, the entire illuminated portion is visible to us, and it is called the full moon or Purnima phase. When the moon is between sun and Earth, no part of it is visible, and it is the new moon or Amavasya phase. This celestial body takes about 27 days to revolve, and hence there are about 29.5 days between two full moons. The moon takes the same time to rotate as to revolve, and this is called Tidal Locking.

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Did You Know?

The first human-made object to reach the moon was the USSR Luna 2 in September 1959. An unmanned spacecraft intentionally crashed onto the moon's surface, and this was followed by a soft landing by Luna 9 in the year 1966. The United States of America also initiated its space program in the form of Apollo 8 in 1968 and six other unmanned landings between 1969 and 1972, with the first being Apollo 11. The Apollo mission returned with lunar rocks, which have been henceforth used for a better understanding of the lunar surface and the geology of the moon. After 1972 only unmanned spacecraft have landed on the moon. The moon landing was the culmination of a long going space war between the USA and the USSR during the cold war era.

Solved Examples

1. Explain How Do We See The Moon At Night?

Answer: The moon has no light of its own and is only visible because of the sunlight that is reflected by the surface of the moon. During the day owing to the brightness of the sun, the moon is obscured, but at night when the sun is not visible, the moon can be seen and is the brightest object in the night sky.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Write About The Moon.

The moon is a natural satellite of Earth with a diameter of 2159 miles or 3475 km and is bigger than Pluto. Our moon is the fifth-largest natural satellite in the solar system and is a bit more than one-fourth of Earth's size. Although there are many theories regarding the formation of the moon, the most widely accepted theory is that the moon was formed by a giant rock that created an impact on the planet's surface. On average, the moon's surface is made of 43 % oxygen, 20% silicon, and 19 % manganese, among other elements. The moon has a thin atmosphere. 

2. What Are The Phases Of The Moon?

The phases of the moon are what causes the full moon day and new moon day. The moon has no light of its own and only reflects the light from the sun. The part of the moon that reflects the light is visible while the other part remains in darkness. The moon takes the same time to rotate as to revolve, and hence only half of the moon is visible to us. Owing to this, the moon assumes many shapes in the night sky, such as the full moon, wavering gibbous moon, crescent moon, and new moon. When the moon is between Earth and the sun, it is full moon or Purnima.