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JOHN AND SARAH FREE MATERIALS (C) 2012
Instructions for teachers

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE MOON

The moon

1

The Moon is 4.5 billion years old. The distance between the Earth and the Moon varies between about 365,000 km and about 409,000 km. The average distance is about 385,000 km, or about 60 times the radius of the Earth itself. The Moon has a diameter of 3,476 kilometres. The moon causes the tides in the sea on the Earth. This is because of the gravity force between the Earth and Moon which attracts the water in the sea and causes it to bulge. We always see the same side of the moon. The Moon always keeps the same side pointing towards us so we can never see the other side of the Moon from the Earth. From the Earth we can see 59 percent (almost three-fifths) of the moon.

2

The new moon rises and sets at approximately the same time as the sun. You would need 398,110 full moons to equal the brightness of the sun but there is not enough space in the sky for so many moons. If you look at the Earth from any spot on the moon (except on the other side, where you cannot see the Earth), the Earth would always be in the same place in the sky.

3

The lunar craters were formed by asteroids and comets that hit the moon. Approximately 300,000 craters wider than 1 km (0.6 miles) are thought to be on the side of the moon that we see from Earth. The highest mountain on the moon is 7,800 m. The mountains on the moon are not very steep. The temperature at the lunar equator ranges from minus 173 degrees C at night to 127 degrees C during the day. In some deep craters near the moon's poles, the temperature is always near minus 240 degrees C.

4

The Moon moves in a counterclockwise direction around the Earth with an average orbital speed of about 3476 KM per hour. There is no air on the Moon, but water is definitely present - according to NASA there is between 10 and 300 million tons of water-ice inside the craters of the lunar poles. Scientists believe that the Moon was formed when an object the size of Mars crashed into the Earth about 4.5 billion years ago. The collision was so large that a large amount of material was ejected into space. The orbiting ring of debris gathered itself into a sphere, and formed the Moon. We know this because the Moon seems to be much less dense than the Earth and does not have much iron in its core. Scientists think that the Moon is made up of the same material as the upper crust material of the Earth.

5

The pull of gravity on the Moon is only 17% the pull of gravity on the Earth, so on the moon you would feel much lighter. If you weighed 100 kg on the Earth, you would feel like you only weighed 17 kg on the moon. On the Moon's surface, the force of gravitation is about 1/6 that on earth. You would be able to jump 6 times further and carry objects 6 times as heavy. If there were air on the moon you would be able to fly just using you arms.

6

Only a small group of astronauts have ever been to the surface of the Moon. They went to the moon on the Apollo missions between 1969 and 1972. The first person ever to walk on the Moon was Neil Armstrong. The last person on the Moon was Gene Cernan on December 14, 1972. At the time of writing (2012 AD) astronauts are expected to go to the Moon again in 2019. Footprints left on the Moon by Apollo astronauts will remain visible for at least 10 million years because there is no erosion on the Moon.

7

The only month that can occur without a full moon is February. The second full moon occurring within a calendar month is called a Blue Moon, this phenomenon occurs once every three years on average. The Moon moves toward the east in our sky by about 12 degrees each day. The Moon rises in the east and sets in the west. If you are "over the Moon" it means that you are very happy.

Instructions for teachers

Infomation sources: space.com universetoday.com primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk wikipedia

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