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September 14th, 2007

Over the Moon facts

The moon is our nearest universal neighbour. Some say the Moon does not deserve to be called just a satellite of the Earth at all, and should be paid more respect as a minor or sub-planet because it is the fifth largest moon in our entire solar system.

So, how big is the moon? It’s about 1/50th the volume of the Earth and has a diameter of 3,474 km (see a previous post to get more ideas about diameters and stuff!). So in terms of overall size, this is what our astronomy science facts says:

The moon is 27% the size of the Earth.

Let’s look at the moon. The surface of the moon looks dark and bright, doesn’t it. The darker areas on the moon are called Maria. Nope, they’re not named after Maria Sharapova but it is the plural for mare, meaning sea – though there are no seas there at all. The brighter moon areas, however, are rather unimaginatively known as Lunar Highlands. The moon has no water or any wetlands, of course. In fact, another sciensational astronomy fact tells us that:

The moon is one million times drier than the Gobi Desert.

Since the Moon is a huge body in space, and also because it is so close to our planet, it can have direct affect on the Earth, simply because it’s there! For example, take this fact:

There is a high and low tide because of our moon and the Sun.

That is because the Moon has great gravitational pull and it tries to pull the water out of our oceans whenever it is right above it! Though it only succeeds in creating great waves, that’s it. One of the reasons why Moon has such direct affects on the Earth is also because it is quite big for being a moon to a planet. In fact, so big that it makes another crazy science fact for us:

The Earth-Moon size ratio is the largest in our solar system, excepting Pluto-Charon.

We’ve got a great planet! And a great moon to match!

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The posts on the blog are an attempt to loosely explain certain scientific fun facts and trivia. Please always consult an expert for accurate information regarding any subject. If you feel something here doesn't make sense at all, you can contact us.