The Moon, located 238,000 miles from Earth, has a temperature of 225° F during the day and drops down to –243° at night.
Size: With a diameter of 2,159 miles (3,475 kilometers), the Moon is just one-quarter the size of Earth.
Photo by Gregory Terrance
Distance from Earth: The Moon's average distance from Earth is 238,000 miles (383,500 km).
Orbit around Earth: It takes the Moon 27.3 Earth days to revolve around our planet one time.
Rotation: The Moon spins on its axis once every 27.3 Earth days.
Surface: The Moon's surface is covered with craters, mountain ranges, rilles (long narrow channels), and lava plains. The vast, dark regions we see on the Moon's surface are called maria, or seas. They are actually very large, smooth lava beds. The bright, light areas on the Moon's surface are called highlands.
The Moon is covered with a solid, rocky crust about 500 miles (800 km) thick.
Underneath the crust, scientists think there is a partially molten zone that leads to a small core of iron. Craters on the Moon come in a wide variety of sizes. The largest crater measures 1,600 miles (2,575 km) across, while the smallest is the size of a pinprick.
Atmosphere: The Moon has no long-lasting, significant atmosphere, so the footprints left by Apollo astronauts will last a long time.
Temperature: The mean daytime temperature is 225° F (107° C), while the mean nighttime temperature is 243° (153° C).
|Escape velocity: To escape the Moon's gravity, you need to travel 5,200 miles (8,400 km) per hour, compared to 25,000 miles (40,200 km) per hour necessary to escape Earth's gravity. Earth's gravity is six times greater than the Moon's.|
Other information: Roughly 842 pounds (382 kilograms) of Moon rock and soil were brought back to Earth aboard the Apollo spacecraft.
In Roman mythology, Diana (also known as Luna) was the goddess of the Moon. She was the twin sister of Apollo, the Sun god.