You see it in the sky every night, but how much do you really know about the moon? This magnificent celestial orb has been both the subject of scientific study and romantic inspiration since the dawn of human life, yet it still has so many secrets left to be discovered. We’re constantly learning new things about our planet’s unique relationship with its lunar companion. Some of them are pretty unexpected!
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If you want to get a little better acquainted with the moon, we’ve gathered some interesting facts that will broaden your understanding of earth’s cosmic sidekick. Here are some really cool things about this heavenly body you probably didn’t know!
1. There’s a map that shows us where we can find water on the moon.
Once upon a time, scientists didn’t believe there was any water on the moon. Nowadays, we not only know that’s not true, but NASA tells us that we actually have a map of how water is distributed there!
2. Astronauts have collected a lot of lunar rock samples.
There are 842 pounds of the moon being studied here on earth, courtesy of the Apollo program. WKMG tells us that some of these samples have only recently been opened.
3. Temperatures on the moon vary dramatically.
Since the moon’s atmosphere — which scientists technically call an exosphere — is extremely thin, the sun’s impact on it is intense, according to NASA. That means shady areas are exceedingly frigid, while anywhere the sunlight reaches becomes very, very hot!
4. Sometimes, we can see reflected light from Earth on the moon.
You know how there are nights when the crescent moon appears to be so bright that you can faintly see its dark side, as well? That actually happens because Earth is reflecting light from the sun!
5. Scientists think the moon started out as rubble from a crash.
The theory goes that something big collided with earth over four billion years ago, causing pieces of rock to break off. One of those pieces formed into the moon over time, according to WKMG.
Who knows what else we’ll find out about the moon in years to come!
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