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Moon: NASA's Lunar Portal
Moon Facts
Moon Fact
Moon Phases

Full moons occur every 29.5 days. The moon keeps the same side to us, but not always the same face. Because of the tilt and shape of its orbit, observers see the moon from slightly different angles over the course of a month.

EYES on LADEE: Explore the Moon in 3D
Moon Facts
Earth Lashing

Every month when the moon gets a lashing from Earth's magnetic tail. This has consequences ranging from lunar "dust storms" to electrostatic discharges.

Even Dozen

Only 12 people have ever walked on the surface of the moon.

Who's the Bunny Girl on the Moon?

Apollo 11 Buzz Aldrin to Mission Control, "Okay. We'll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl."

What was he talking about?

Find out here.

The Moon's Earth-like Core

Research suggests the moon possesses a solid, iron-rich inner core with a radius of nearly 150 miles and a fluid, primarily liquid-iron outer core with a radius of roughly 205 miles. Where it differs from Earth is a partially molten boundary layer around the core estimated to have a radius of nearly 300 miles.

Ancient Rocks

Moon-rock ages range from about 3.2 billion years in the maria (dark, low basins) to nearly 4.6 billion years in the terrae (light, rugged highlands). Active geologic forces, including plate tectonics and erosion, continuously repave the oldest surfaces on Earth whereas old surfaces persist with little disturbance on the moon.

Lunar Mascons

Mass is not distributed uniformly inside the moon. Large mass concentrations ("mascons") lie beneath the surface of many large lunar basins and probably represent thick accumulations of dense lava. Relative to its geometric center, the moon's center of mass is displaced toward Earth by several kilometers.

Prince of Tides

There are two high tides and two low tides every day on every beach on Earth. This is due to the moon's pull.

Super Harvest Moon

September's full moon is referred to as the "Harvest Moon" because it occurs during harvest-time. The next "super" harvest moon will not occur until 2029.

Once in a Blue Moon

About every 2.5 years an extra full moon, called a "Blue Moon" occurs.

The term Blue Moon is believed to have originated in 1883 after the eruption of Krakatoa. The volcano put so much dust in the atmosphere that the moon actually looked blue in color. This was so unusual that the term "once in a Blue Moon" was coined.

Moon Dust

The moon's surface is covered by a pile of rock fragments and dust called lunar regolith. The thickness of the regolith varies from about 5 m on mare surfaces to about 10 m on highland surfaces.

Don't Forget Your Space Suit

The moon is 239,000 miles away from the Earth. It would take almost nine years to walk there.

Mercury to Apollo

Although three of the original Mercury 7 astronauts flew in the Apollo program, only one, Alan Shepard, walked on the moon. Shepard was the first American in space.

Familiar Face

Only about 59 percent of the moon's surface is visible to us here on Earth.

Moon Water

In 2009, orbiting spacecraft discovered water molecules on the moon.

Space Face

Can you spot the face of the man on the moon?

Inverted Moon

As the astronomical telescope with its inverted image came into use, astronomers adopted the habit of representing the way they saw the moon -- upside down. This practice was followed until very recently. Lunar images are now constructed and stored digitally and can be displayed at any orientation. The moon is now typically shown right side up.

Original Rocks

The rocks of the terrae (the light colored, rugged highlands of the moon) are nearly 4.6 billion years old.

Out of Shape

The moon is not round, but is in fact egg-shaped with the large end pointed towards Earth.

Weightless? Not Quite

Gravity on the moon is only 1/6 of that found on Earth.

Perfect Crater

Linné crater is extremely young, and to a scientist's eye pretty close to perfect. Linné is a beautifully preserved young mare crater.

NASA's Planetary CSI: Crater Science Investigations: Linné Crater

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Last Updated: 11 Jul 2013