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.Continue Reading
The moon is the Earth's only natural satellite and the clearest object in the night sky. It is 240,250 miles away from the surface of the Earth and the closest celestial object. The rugged lunar terrain is responsible for the dark and light spots, observable from Earth.
The Giant Impactor hypothesis, proposed after the lunar visits of 12 Americans, posits that during Earth's formation, a large object approximately the size of Mars impacted Earth at an angle, throwing debris from its mantle and overlying crust to create the moon. The theory teaches that the impactor then melted and joined the cooling core of the Earth to increase its gravitational attraction for the newly forming moon.
The reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet in 2006 leaves eight planets in the sun's solar system. Several of these planets, in addition to Earth, also have moons, with Jupiter and Saturn both having more than 60 moons that orbit them.Learn more about Our Moon
The Oxford Dictionary says a star is a massive ball of gas, primarily helium and hydrogen, compressed by its own gravity to the point that spontaneous nuclear reactions are triggered, causing it to emanate heat, light and other forms of energy. The sun is the closest star to the Earth. All other stars are so distant from the solar system they only appear as tiny points of light.Full Answer >
The dazzling bright star near the moon is the planet Venus. The moon and Venus make up the brightest celestial pair. The paring of the two bodies usually occurs in summer, fall and early winter.Full Answer >
The fossil record encompasses information in the form of biological remains preserved in rock to offer clues about the history of life throughout the planet. In many cases, entire organisms are found in geological strata. These organisms, which range from insects to mammals, act as snapshots in time, giving paleontologists and other scientists an idea of how life has changed over 4 billion years.Full Answer >
Saturn has no surface and is a giant ball of gas that is mainly made up of helium and hydrogen, while the atmosphere of the planet also consists of the same gases. A handful of unmanned missions that have visited Saturn throughout history show that the planet has no surface to land on and is not capable of supporting living things.Full Answer >