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Moon: NASA's Lunar Portal
Return to Solar System Exploration
Moon Facts
Moon Fact
Communication with LADEE

Unlike past missions, LADEE will be using lasers instead of radio waves to communicate with mission control.

EYES on LADEE: Explore the Moon in 3D
Moon Facts
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.

Our Drifting Moon

Did you know the moon is moving away from the Earth at a rate of 1.5 inches per year?

Read More

Space Face

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

Even Dozen

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

Out of Shape

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

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.

Long Gone

There are no active volcanoes on the moon now. The moon's volcanoes have been extinct for billions of years.

Shaping the Moon

Between 4.5 and 4.3 billion years ago, a giant object hit the moon near its south pole and formed the South Pole-Aitken Basin, one of the two largest proven impact basins in the solar system.

Two NASA LRO Videos: "Evolution of the Moon" and "A Tour of the Moon."

Moon Gods

Most ancient religions had a moon god or goddess. One Roman moon goddess was named Luna, and this is why many modern words associated with the moon have "Luna" as their root.

Mighty Minotaur

LADEE will be launched on an five-stage Minotaur V rocket. The first three stages of the Minotaur V are former Peacekeeper ballistic solid rocket motors. The fourth and fifth stages are commercial motors.

Deep Impact

The moon's deepest craters are 4,500 m (15,000 feet). The South Pole-Aitken basin on the moon is an abyss that could engulf the United States from the East Coast through Texas.

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.

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.

First Interaction with the Moon

In 1940, the Diana Project was the first experiment to successfully bounce radio signals off the moon.

Friendly Face

Many of us see a man in the moon -- a human face smiling down at us from the lunar surface. Scientists say the fact that we see a face may be the result of the rate at which the moon slowed down before becoming locked into its current orientation.

Massive Impact Basin

Did you know the largest impact basin in the Earth-moon system is the South-Pole-Aitken basin on the moon measuring 2,500 km in diameter?

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.

Moon Day

A lunar day (or the time it takes from sunrise to sunrise) on the moon is approximately 708 hours.

Hot Rocks

All moon rocks originated through high-temperature processes with little or no involvement with water.

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