Our Moon

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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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.
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  • What is the temperature on the dark side of the Moon?

    Q: What is the temperature on the dark side of the Moon?

    A: Temperatures on the dark side of the moon average around negative 280 degrees Fahrenheit. This is do in part to the moon's lack of an atmosphere; there is no insulation to hold heat (on the far side) or soften the sun's rays (on the sun facing side).
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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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  • Do more 911 calls happen during a full moon?

    Q: Do more 911 calls happen during a full moon?

    A: Police officers and emergency room workers may provide anecdotal proof that 911 calls increase during a full moon, but there isn't any hard evidence to back up this assertion. Though many people assume that there is a connection between the full moon and crazy behavior, scientific research does not support this assumption.
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  • 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.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.
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  • How long is a moon day?

    Q: How long is a moon day?

    A: According to NASA, one moon day is equal to 27 Earth days, which is the time the moon takes to complete its spin. The moon is tidally locked, so it always shows the same face to the Earth.
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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 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Are blue moons actually blue?

    Q: Are blue moons actually blue?

    A: While the name "blue moon" conjures up a vivid, colorful image, the term actually refers to those times when there are two full moons in a single month; that second full moon is referred to as the blue moon, though its color is likely to be the same as it ever is. It is possible for the moon to have a bluish appearance, but this is usually due to atmospheric changes on earth, such as smoke or ash in the upper atmosphere as the result of fires or volcanic activity.
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