Moon Facts

  • Light from the Moon takes about a second and a half to reach Earth.
  • The Moon is responsible for tides on Earth because the Moon has a gravitational pull on Earth. (The Sun is responsible for a third of the power of tides on Earth.)
  • The Earth does not spin perfectly on its axis because the Moon pulls it slightly off centre. The Earth and Moon rotate around an area near its core called the Barycentre. This is where the Earth's and Moon's gravity is balanced.
  • Earthshine is the phenomenon of the whole visible surface of the Moon being lit when in its crescent phase. This is sunlight reflected by Earth onto the Moon.
  • The Phase of the Moon is used for religious purposes. Christians use the phase of the Moon in order to fix Easter in the calendar. Muslims start Ramadan when the Moon is in a phase at a certain time of year. Followers of Judaism use the Moon to celebrate Passover.
  • The Moon may appear larger near the horizon. This is called the Moon illusion.
  • The Moon is considered to be a poor reflector, reflecting only approximately 7% of the light it receives due to its dark and dusty surface. Yet it appears bright to us. It would take many thousands of Moons in the sky at the same time to provide us with as much light as we receive from the Sun.
  • The point at which the Earth and Moon balance each other's gravities is below the crust of the Earth.

 

Data

Mass Ratio

81.301 (Earth/Moon)

Gravity at the Surface

(1/6 Earth's gravity)

Mean orbital speed

3,683 km/hr

Synodic Month  (New Moon To New Moon)

29 days, 12h, 44m, 2.8s

Sidereal Month (Star To Star)- A Moon Day

27 days, 7h, 43m, 11.5s

Surface Temperature

120°C day-153°C night

Magnitude of full Moon

-12.5

Estimated age of Moon

4.6 billion years