Day 18: Though the full moon was yesterday. I thought I would focus a little on our closest satellite today. Our moon is the 6th largest in the solar system and is 4.5 billion years old. Is 384,000km away and rotates at the same rate as it orbits, meaning the same hemisphere faces Earth all the time. It’s thin atmosphere provides no protection from the sun, surface temperatures range from +150°C to -250°C.
Are you like me and on a clear night always look to the heavens in search of the moon and what phase it is? Sunlight is reflected off the surface of the moon creating moonlight. Phases are created by our view of the moon as it orbits the Earth, hence why it changes phase every night. It takes the moon 29.5 days to go through it’s eight phases called a lunar month.
The phases are:
- New Moon
- Waxing Crescent
- First Quarter
- Waxing Gibbous
- Waning Gibbous
- Third Quarter
- Waning Crescent
- New Moon
The far side of the moon, known as the ‘dark side’ is never visible from the Earth. In January 2019 a Chinese spacecraft Chang’e -4 with rover Yutu-2 is the first man made craft to view this mysterious hemisphere of the moon.
Do you know any fun facts on the moon?
Thanks for reading, and stay wild!