NEWS ARCHIVE

# What do we know about our nearest neighbor - the moon?

The moon is the nearest neighbor of the Earth. I mean, not the neighbor, and her companion. The distance from the earth to the moon - 384,4 thousand kilometers. If the balls are the size of Earth to supply at each other, then the thirtieth touch the moon. On a space ship with a speed of 28 thousand kilometers per hour you can reach the moon in 13 hours 43 minutes.

The moon moves around the Earth in an elliptical orbit. The plane of the orbit of the moon is inclined to the plane of Earth's orbit (the Ecliptic) with a small angle of 5 degrees. Therefore, the Moon is half-way done North of the Ecliptic, and the other half to the South of the Ecliptic.

The moon looks big because it is closer to Earth to other celestial bodies, but it is relatively small: diameter of the moon is equal 3474 km is a little more than one-quarter the diameter of Earth. And the volume of the moon is only about 2% of the volume of the Earth, that is our companion in 50 times less Land.

Its mass is 81 times smaller than the earth. Mass other large satellites do not reach a thousandth of the mass of the planets, which they belong. Because of the smaller mass attraction at the surface of the moon 6 times less than on our planet. A person weighing 60 kg would be easier on the moon 50 pounds. A weak attractive force did not allow the moon to keep the atmosphere. For the same reason, on the moon there is no water.

The moon goes around the Earth and makes for a month almost one revolution (the exact period of revolution of the moon around the Earth is 27.3 days). Lunar day and lunar night separately last more than 14.5 earth days.

Interestingly, the orbital period of the moon around its axis and around the Earth the same. Because of this, the Moon always faces the Earth, only one party. And we can see about 59% of the lunar surface. The part of the moon that is not visible to an observer from the Earth, called the "back side" of the moon. Side of the moon was first photographed by the Soviet lunar station "Luna 3 in 1959.

During the night, the Moon is exposed to the severe cold, and in the afternoon heat. Temperature variations are high: 160 degrees cold at night up to 150 degrees in the afternoon.

Because the Moon has a sufficiently large mass and is relatively close to Earth, we observed gravitational interaction between them in the form of tides.

As a result of the tides is the energy loss in the system Earth-Moon due to the friction between the oceans and the bottom, and between the earth's crust and mantle of the planet. This loss of energy leads to the fact that the strength of interaction between the earth and the Moon is constantly falling, and the Moon moves away from Earth by about 4 cm each year.

A large part of the moon's surface is uneven. It is covered by mountain ranges, the ring mountains, craters and dark spots plains - called seas. These names come from ancient times, when ancient astronomers thought that the Moon, like Earth, has seas and oceans.

In fact, these dark areas on the moon's surface was formed as a result of volcanic eruptions. They are filled with basalt, which is darker than the surrounding rocks. Numerous craters and mountain ranges on the moon was formed from the shock of the heavenly stones meteorites, and not the result of tectonic processes on Earth. On the surface of the moon more than 500 thousand craters larger than 1 km due to the lack of atmosphere on the moon, water, and significant geological processes even the most ancient lunar craters has not actually been changed. The largest crater on the moon is on the opposite side of the moon: its diameter 2240 km and a depth of 13 km

The lunar surface is covered with soil, crushed to dust-like state as a result of bombardment by meteorites for millions of years. This breed is called the regolith. The thickness of the layer of the regolith varies from a few centimeters in areas of the moon "oceans" to 20 meters on the lunar plateau. The color of the lunar soil is dark gray, but the Moon seems to be almost completely white, but actually it reflects only 7% of the sunlight falling on its surface (the same number reflects charcoal). Why is this happening? The fact that the white disk of the moon is an optical illusion arising from the fact that the moon in the black sky is the only facility large, lit by reflected sunlight.