“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amoré!” While there is a lot to love about our beautiful moon, there is still so much to learn about our celestial companion. Let’s learn more about the Moon together!
- While there are several theories as to where the Moon came from, the most popular theory is quite volatile. Scientists hypothesize that a Mars-sized mass collided with the newly formed Earth, hurtling debris which, over time, formed what we call the Moon. This would explain what the Moon is made out of as well as where it sits in its orbital path. However, there is no consensus on this hypothesis yet.
- While many people today equate the moon with more feminine qualities, that wasn’t always the case throughout the world. Ancient Egyptian, Hindu, Babylonian, and Nordic traditions all characterize the god of the moon as male.
- There have been 24 astronauts who made it to the moon, and of those 24, 12 of them have actually walked on its surface. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first to ever walk on the moon, while Eugene Cernan and Harrison H Schmitt were the last. No woman or person of color has ever orbited or walked on the Moon. Yet.
- Our expeditions to the Moon have left behind several items. The Soviet Union actually did land an unmanned probe called Luna 2 back in 1959. Since then, other probes and spacecraft vehicles sit on the Moon’s surface. Some things were brought specifically to leave on the Moon, most notably two medals commemorating Soviet cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Vladimir Komarov, who perished in an accident furthering the study of space travel. Additionally, the NASA Apollo missions used their different moon landings as a way to get rid of their trash so that they could lighten their ships and make the trip home easier. Interplanetary littering!
- While our moon is the largest moon in the solar system relative to its planet, it’s only the fifth largest over all. (Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon, is big enough to be considered a planet if it orbited the Sun!) The Moon’s size means that its gravity is only a sixth of Earth’s. So, if something weighted 6 lbs. on Earth, it would weigh only 1 lb. on the Moon. The effect of the Moon’s gravity on astronauts has inspired both moon bounces and moon boots, both designed to make you jump with serious airtime!
We’re still learning things about our beautiful Moon. Selenography, or the study of the Moon, still occurs to this day. Will you be the next person to find some new lunar secrets? If so, you know where to start looking!