Our Moon

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.

See Full Answer
Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Whose Ashes Were Brought to the Moon?

    Q: Whose Ashes Were Brought to the Moon?

    A: In 1999, a space probe called the Lunar Prospector carried some of the ashes of American scientist Eugene Shoemaker to the moon. As of 2015, Shoemaker is the only human to be "buried" on the moon, though not all of Shoemaker's remains were sent with the Prospector.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How Old Is the Moon?

    Q: How Old Is the 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Why Is the Moon Important?

    Q: Why Is the Moon Important?

    A: Most people know that the moon's gravitational influence has an effect on the tides on Earth, but some scientists also believe that the presence of the moon played an important role in making Earth habitable to begin with. The interplay between the Earth and the moon mirrors events that occurred throughout the early solar system, as a Mars-sized object may have hit the Earth, sending some of the mantle into orbit that soon cooled into the moon. Over time, the relationship between the Earth and the moon may well have assisted the advent of life.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Is the Difference Between a New Moon and a Full Moon?

    Q: What Is the Difference Between a New Moon and a Full Moon?

    A: When the moon is full, the moon is at its brightest, and the entire disk is visible. New moons occur when the Earth comes between the moon and the sun, resulting in a moon that is completely obscured by the Earth's shadow and is barely visible in the night sky.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Can the Moon Really Affect Your Sleep Patterns?

    Q: Can the Moon Really Affect Your Sleep Patterns?

    A: Though scientists find the phenomenon hard to explain, it may be true that people tend to get a little bit less sleep during a full moon, and the sleep they do get is not as deep as it is at other times of the month. While increased nighttime light could be an issue, research showed that the moon impacted subjects' sleep even if they were in a windowless room. However, the European scientists who conducted this study, which was reported in 2013, seem to doubt their own findings.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How Did the Moon Get Its Craters?

    Q: How Did the Moon Get Its Craters?

    A: The moon's circular craters are the result of flying objects such as meteorites crashing into the moon's surface. This contact is known as an impact, and the resulting crater is officially known as an impact crater.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What Does the Moon Smell Like?

    Q: What Does the Moon Smell Like?

    A: According to NASA astronaut Gene Cernan, moon dust smells like gunpowder. No human has ever been on the moon without life support, and no one has taken a deep breath of pure, unfiltered moon air. However, Apollo 17 astronauts did perform some sniff tests with a moon dust sample they collected during their mission.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Can Humans Live on the Moon?

    Q: Can Humans Live on the Moon?

    A: Despite the close relationship between the Earth and its moon as well as successful human visits to the moon, life there is not currently sustainable. The moon doesn't provide enough oxygen for humans to survive. Solar radiation is also a problem, since the moon is outside Earth's protective atmosphere.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under: