Our Moon

A:

The scientific consensus is that the Earth's moon formed four and half billion years ago. About 100 million years after the formation of the solar system, another small planet is likely to have collided with the Earth, resulting in the formation of the Moon.

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  • What are the phases of the moon?

    Q: What are the phases of the moon?

    A: The phases of the moon are: new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, third quarter and waning crescent. After the waning-crescent phase the moon returns to the new-moon phase and the cycle starts again. The complete cycle takes a little over 29 days.
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  • How much did the Apollo program cost?

    Q: How much did the Apollo program cost?

    A: Space travel requires a lot of research and preparation, and by the time the Apollo program wrapped up in the 1970s, its total cost was about $30 billion, which would be well more than $100 billion dollars in 2015 money. This total cost reflects work that took place over several years.
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  • How many Apollo missions landed on the moon?

    Q: How many Apollo missions landed on the moon?

    A: Six Apollo missions, specifically Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17, landed on the moon between 1969 and 1972. Apollo 13 was also supposed to land on the moon but failed to do so due to a spacecraft malfunction.
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  • How did a pen save Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin?

    Q: How did a pen save Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin?

    A: When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first attempted to pilot their lunar lander back off the moon, a critical switch broke, forcing the astronauts to improvise a solution with a ballpoint pen. Aldrin took responsibility for breaking the switch, but he was also the one who found the solution in a ballpoint pen.
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  • Why is the moon not a planet?

    Q: Why is the moon not a planet?

    A: The moon is not a planet because, by definition, a planet is a "spherical ball of rock or gas that orbits a star," according to About.com. While the moon is a spherical ball of rock, it orbits the Earth and not the sun.
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  • How close does the moon get to the Earth?

    Q: How close does the moon get to the Earth?

    A: The moon travels in an elliptical orbit, and at perigee, the closest it gets to Earth, it stands about 225,623 miles, or 363,104 kilometers away.
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  • Do full moons really make us crazy?

    Q: Do full moons really make us crazy?

    A: Humans have long believed that there is a connection between a full moon and erratic behavior, but there is no scientific proof that this is the case. Even though no real evidence exists of the moon's crazy-making powers, many continue to believe that the two things are connected. This is known as "illusory correlation," in which people imagine that they see a logical connection where there isn't one.
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  • How many people watched the first moon landing?

    Q: How many people watched the first moon landing?

    A: Reports indicate that some 600 million people watched as Neil Armstrong took the first step on the moon on July 20, 1969. That televised event set a world record that went unbroken until Prince Charles and Lady Diana married in 1981, which drew 750 million viewers.
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  • Is the moon bigger than the Earth?

    Q: Is the moon bigger than the Earth?

    A: The moon is not bigger than the Earth as it has a diameter of approximately 2,159 square miles, which is about one-quarter of the size of Earth. In addition to being smaller than the Earth, the moon is much lighter. It weighs approximately 80 times less than Earth, but what it lacks in density, the moon makes up for in luminosity.
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  • How much would you weigh on the moon?

    Q: How much would you weigh on the moon?

    A: According to the Argonne National Laboratory, a human being weighs approximately one-sixth as much on the moon as he does on Earth. If an individual weighs 180 pounds on Earth, that weight is converted to 30 pounds on the moon.
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  • How much of the moon is always lit by the sun?

    Q: How much of the moon is always lit by the sun?

    A: Half of the moon is always lit by the sun, unless the sun is eclipsed by the Earth. The portion of the illuminated moon viewed from Earth depends on the moon's orbit. As the moon orbits, different portions of shadow and illumination are seen from Earth, creating the moon's phases.
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  • How long does it take the moon to rotate on its axis?

    Q: How long does it take the moon to rotate on its axis?

    A: One lunar day, the length of time it takes the moon to complete a full rotation on its axis, is equivalent to 28 days on Earth. This is also the amount of time it takes for the moon to complete its orbit around the Earth.
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  • How many times did we land on the moon?

    Q: How many times did we land on the moon?

    A: According to NASA, there have been six lunar landings, all under the Apollo program. The first moon landing was by Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969. The last was Apollo 17, which landed on the moon on December 7, 1972.
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  • Was Neil Armstrong misquoted?

    Q: Was Neil Armstrong misquoted?

    A: Whether Neil Armstrong's famous saying "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" is a misquote or not seems to be a matter of some debate. NASA authorities at the time claimed he said "one small step for a man" and Armstrong himself has occupied both sides of the debate at different times.
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  • How long does it take the moon to orbit the Earth?

    Q: How long does it take the moon to orbit the Earth?

    A: The Earth's moon takes 27 Earth days to completely orbit the Earth. A day on the moon is also equal to a little over 27 days on Earth.
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  • What is the difference between the Earth and the moon?

    Q: What is the difference between the Earth and the moon?

    A: One of the many differences between the Earth and the moon is simply that the Earth is a planet and the moon orbits the Earth as its satellite. The Earth's circumference is 24,873.6 miles, while that of the moon is 6783.5 miles.
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  • Why does the same side of the moon always face Earth?

    Q: Why does the same side of the moon always face Earth?

    A: Though the moon does rotate around its axis, the speed with which it completes these revolutions match the amount of time it takes to orbit around the Earth, leading the same side to be faced toward Earth at all times. This process takes a about month, meaning the moon's days are as long as an Earth month.
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  • How bright is the moon compared to the sun?

    Q: How bright is the moon compared to the sun?

    A: Just as day is brighter than night, the sun is much brighter than the moon — 400,000 times brighter, to be exact. That's compared to even the fullest, brightest full moon. From an astronomical standpoint, this is no surprise. The moon doesn't generate its own light, and the burning sun provides the vast majority of all the natural light on earth.
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  • Where does the moon rise?

    Q: Where does the moon rise?

    A: The moon rises in the eastern sky and sets in the western sky because of Earth's rotation. Its rising and setting positions vary throughout the year from northeast/northwest to due east/west to southeast/southwest.
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  • What causes a red moon?

    Q: What causes a red moon?

    A: A red moon occurs when the Earth eclipses the moon from sunlight. The moon looks red due to dispersed light from Earth's sunrises and sunsets that is refracted back onto the moon's surface.
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  • How did NASA know it was safe to land on the moon?

    Q: How did NASA know it was safe to land on the moon?

    A: There was a lot of build-up to the first manned moon landing, including several unmanned missions to the moon flown by the space programs from both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Based on the data gathered during these missions, NASA scientists were able to develop procedures and equipment that would be most likely to lead to a safe manned mission to the moon.
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