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Moon Info Essay

2169 words - 9 pages

The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite and he fifth largest satellite in the Solar System. It is the largest natural satellite of a planet in the Solar System relative to the size of its primary, a quarter the diameter of Earth and 1⁄81 its mass . The Moon is the second densest satellite after Io. It is in synchronous rotation with Earth, always showing the same face; the near side is marked with dark volcanic maria among the bright ancient crustal highlands and prominent impact craters. It is the brightest object in the sky after the Sun, although its surface is actually very dark, with a similar reflectance to coal. Its prominence in the sky and its regular cycle of phases have since ...view middle of the document...

These spacecraft have contributed to confirming the discovery of lunar water ice in permanently shadowed craters at the poles and bound into the lunar regolith. Future manned missions to the Moon have been planned, including government as well as privately funded efforts. The Moon remains, under the Outer Space Treaty, free to all nations to explore for peaceful purposes.

some 30–50 million years after the origin of the Solar System.These include the fission of the Moon from the Earth's crust through, which would require too great an initial spin of the Earth, the gravitational capture of a pre-formed Moon, which would require an unfeasibly extended atmosphere to the energy of the passing Moon, and the co-formation of the Earth and the Moon together in the primordial accretion disksome 30–50 million years after the origin of the Solar System.

These include the fission of the Moon from the Earth's crust through centrifugal forces, which would require too great an initial spin of the Earth, the gravitational capture of a pre-formed Moon, which would require an unfeasibly extended atmosphere of the Earth to dissipate the energy of the passing Moon, and the co-formation of the Earth and the Moon together in the primordial accretion disk, which does not explain the depletion of metallic iron in the Moon. These hypotheses also cannot account for the high angular momentum of the Earth–Moon system, which does not explain the depletion of metallic iron in the Moon. These hypotheses also cannot account for the high angular momentum of the Earth–Moon system.

The Moon makes a complete orbit around the Earth with respect to the fixed stars about once every 27.3 days (its sidereal period). However, since the Earth is moving in its orbit about the Sun at the same time, it takes slightly longer for the Moon to show the same phase to Earth, which is about 29.5 days (its synodic period).Unlike most satellites of other planets, the Moon orbits nearer the ecliptic plane than to the planet's equatorial plane. The Moon's orbit is subtly perturbed by the Sun and Earth in many small, complex and interacting ways. For example, the plane of the Moon's orbital motion gradually rotates, which affects other aspects of lunar motion. These follow-on effects are mathematically described by Cassini's laws.

New Moon - When the Moon is roughly in the same direction as the Sun, its illuminated half is facing away from the Earth, and therefore the part that faces us is all dark: we have the new moon. When in this phase, the Moon and the Sun rise and set at about the same time. (2) Waxing Crescent Moon - As the Moon moves around the Earth, we get to see more and more of the illuminated half, and we say the Moon is waxing. At first we get a sliver of it, which grows as days go by. This phase is called the crescent moon. (3) Quarter Moon - A week after the new moon, when the Moon has completed about a quarter of its turn around the Earth, we can see half of the...

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