Our Moon

A:

One of the main reasons the United States sponsored a mission to the moon was because of the space race with Russia. Russia was the first country to put an artificial satellite in space, which caused a lot of embarrassment for the U.S.

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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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  • 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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  • 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 many phases does the moon have?

    Q: How many phases does the moon have?

    A: The moon has a total of eight individual phases. Four of these phases are considered to be the moon's main phases. The remaining four phases are considered to be the moon's transitional phases.
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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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  • How can I tell what phase the moon is in?

    Q: How can I tell what phase the moon is in?

    A: The way to identify which of the phases the moon is in is based on which section of the moon's face is lit by the sun. The moon has eight phases, which happen in the same cycle over the course of a 29-day period.
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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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  • 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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  • 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 does the moon affect the Earth?

    Q: How does the moon affect the Earth?

    A: The main way the moon affects the Earth is the tides. The moon plays an important role in protecting the Earth from space rocks, such as meteorites. More subtle effects of the moon include minor effects on climate, the heat of the crust and the speed of the Earth's rotation.
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  • What is the meaning of a yellow moon?

    Q: What is the meaning of a yellow moon?

    A: When the moon appears orange or yellow, it simply means that the observer is looking at it through more layers of atmosphere. Similar to the way in which the sun will look orange or red on the horizon, when the moon is low in the sky, the light from it will have to pass through more of the blue-absorbing atmosphere to reach the viewer's eye. By this time, only yellow, orange and red light will remain unabsorbed.
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  • What objects did astronauts leave on the moon?

    Q: What objects did astronauts leave on the moon?

    A: Thanks to six moon landings, hundreds of objects are still scattered across the surface of the moon: golf balls, boots, cameras, javelins, sculptures, photographs, and a golden olive branch. Because the moon doesn't have an atmosphere, most of these objects will remain preserved until something impacts that area of the moon.
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  • How long does it take to get to the moon?

    Q: How long does it take to get to the moon?

    A: The Apollo 11 astronauts on the famed 1969 mission took 3 days, 3 hours and 49 minutes to go from launch to close lunar orbit, typical of manned missions. Unmanned spacecraft employ a much wider range of travel times.
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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 was the moon formed?

    Q: How was the moon formed?

    A: The most popular theory regarding lunar formation is that a Mars-sized planetoid slammed into the Earth and flung molten debris into orbit around 40 million years after the solar system was created, according to scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This is called the giant impact theory.
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  • What color is the moon?

    Q: What color is the moon?

    A: The surface of the moon is generally a light gray color, although there are parts of the moon that are made up of dark gray rocks. The moon has a different appearance from the surface, from space and from the Earth.
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  • Is the moon moving farther away from Earth?

    Q: Is the moon moving farther away from Earth?

    A: The moon is in fact gradually drifting away from the earth. Each year, the moon spins almost 4 centimeters farther from the earth, which makes the earth's day just a bit longer. While this 1.48-inch movement will eventually add up to a big change, it will take billions of years to make a significant difference to life on earth.
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  • Why did we go to the moon?

    Q: Why did we go to the moon?

    A: One of the main reasons the United States sponsored a mission to the moon was because of the space race with Russia. Russia was the first country to put an artificial satellite in space, which caused a lot of embarrassment for the U.S.
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  • What happens during a lunar eclipse?

    Q: What happens during a lunar eclipse?

    A: A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth passes between the moon and the sun. Lunar eclipses cast a shadow on the moon due to the Earth's location. From the perspective of the moon, the Earth completely blocks the sun.
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  • What went wrong with Apollo 13?

    Q: What went wrong with Apollo 13?

    A: As the source of the iconic phrase, "Houston, we've had a problem," the Apollo 13 mission went from an intended moon landing to a narrowly averted disaster when one of the oxygen tank exploded as the shuttle was en route to the moon. This event occurred on April 14, 1970, three days after the shuttle's launch. After the explosion, the shuttle's crew, consisting of commander Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise, worked with NASA mission control in Houston, Texas to successfully get themselves back to earth without major injury.
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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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