Amusing Lunar Facts
What is the Moon? It is not a planet, although many scientists may think of it as one! It is a satellite of the Earth. In other words, it is a big chunk of rock, orbiting the Earth and is kept within a certain distance from the Earth (approx. 238,866 miles away) because of the Earth’s gravitational pull. Without that gravitational pull, the Moon would move farther out into space away from the Earth. Also, the Moon’s gravity affects our ocean tides. Obviously, as with astrology, there is a fine balance between the Sun, Moon and Earth.
The Moon is larger than Pluto with a diameter of approximately 2,160 miles. It takes approximately 27.3 days to travel all the way around the earth, moving at a rate of a little over one-half mile each second. According to some scientists, the Moon’s rate of orbit is slowing down and it is slowly moving away from the Earth.
It is believed that asteroids crashing into it millions of years ago created the many craters on the Moon. Since there is almost no atmosphere, there is essentially no wind or rain to cause these craters to erode or change. Also, because of this, the temperatures on the “sunny-side” of the Moon can reach 273°F while on the dark-side the temperatures plummet to a chilly -243°F.