The Moon (or Luna) is the Earth’s only natural satellite and was formed 4.6 billion years ago around some 30–50 million years after the formation of the solar system. The Moon is in synchronous rotation with Earth meaning the same side is always facing the Earth. The first unmanned mission to the Moon was in 1959 by the Soviet Lunar Program with the first manned landing being Apollo 11 in 1969.
- Circumference at Equator: 10,917.0 km
- Diameter: 3,475 km
- Mass: 73,476,730,924,573,500 million kg (0.0123 x Earth)
- Average Distance from Earth: 384,400 km
- Length of Orbit: 27.3 Earth days
- Surface Temperature: -233 to 123 °C
Facts about the Moon
- The Moon is moving away from the Earth by approximately 3.8cm a year
- The last manned mission to the Moon was Apollo 17 in 1972 since then it has only be visited by unmanned vehicles
- The Moon is the fifth largest satellite in the solar system
- The Moons diameter is a quarter of the Earth’s (3,475 km compared to 12,742 km)
- The dark side of the moon is a myth, in reality both sides of the Moon see the same amount of Sun however only one side is ever visible from the Earth.
- The Moons gravity is a major factor in the cause of the Earth’s tides.
- The most commonly accepted hypothesis is the Moon was formed by an impact of a Mars sized object with a young Earth.
- In 1985 during the Cold War the USA considered detonating a nuclear bomb on the Moon.