We see it every night. It lightens our way through the dark and it adds up some romanticism and depth to our nocturnal walks and conversations. It’s been with us for as long as we can remember and we are pretty aware of the fact that it influences our mood, our healing processes and the growth of our hair, just to mention a few. Yes, I’m talking about our dear old Moon. But how much do we actually know about it? Here are 9 amazing facts about the Moon that will probably blow your mind, or at least make you look at it from a different perspective.
1. The Moon is the only surface in our Solar System that has been physically stepped on by humans, besides the Earth, of course.
2. The Moon formed out of the Earth
It appears that an object as big as planet Mars hit the Earth some 4.5 billion years ago. The collision was so large that a huge spray of material was ejected into space. This is how the Moon was born. The proof for this belief relies on the fact that the Moon seems to be much less dense than the Earth and lacks a lot of iron in its core. Scientists think that the Moon is made up of the upper crust material, which has mostly lower density, than the composition of the Earth.
3. The Moon isn’t round
It’s actually shaped like an egg, and looks spherical from Earth because of the fact that one of the smaller ends that has a circular silhouette, is the one facing us.
4. The moon is moving away from Earth
As it spins and orbits our planet, the moon is slowly drifting away from us with about 1.5 inches per year. Today, the moon is about 280,000 miles from Earth, but when it first formed, researchers estimate that it was just 14,000 miles away from Earth.
5. The Moon only shows one face to the Earth
Despite the fact that the Moon used to rotate in the sky compared to our point of view, it has been slowing down for billions of years. It’s the Earth’s gravity that holds the Moon in orbit, but it pulls differently at various parts of the Moon. Over a long period of time, gravity slowed down the Moon’s rotation so that it finally stopped it, and that’s why the Moon always displays one face to the Earth. The side that we never see is referred to as “the dark side of the Moon,” despite the fact that it receives just as much sunlight as the visible side.
6. The Moon appears terrifying to some people
This phobia is called Selenophobia and sufferers have frequent panick attacks, start trembling and sweating whenever they see or even think about the Moon.
7. Gravity on the Moon is only 17% of the Earth
Since the pull of gravity on the Moon is only 17% the pull of gravity on the Earth, you’ll feel much lighter. For instance if you weighed 100 lbs. on Earth, you would feel like you only weighed 17 on the Moon. You could take up circus acts in a blink of an eye.
8. It gets extremely hot and extremely cold out there on the Moon
When the sun is shining on the moon, temperatures climb to 260 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hotter than the boiling point of water at 212 degrees. On the dark, far side of the moon, things get frosty, dipping to -280 degrees Fahrenheit. So it’s unbearable for any human who plans on running away and building a life out there.
9. There’s a lot of trash on the Moon as well
Over time, the astronauts who visited the Moon managed to leave quite a bit of trash behind. It is estimated that there’s about 400,000 lbs. of man-made materials lying around the Moon. This trash includes astronaut poop containers as well, along with debris from various experiments, space probes and lunar rovers.