For being one of the most loyal presences in our lives, we likely don’t think about Earth’s Moon. It’s just always there, a daily friend and a pleasant night light.
Well, in this post, we’re going to change all that with some fascinating facts about the Moon to impress your friends, win that crucial bar trivia question, or just keep in mind for the next time you peer up at the big white orb in the night sky.
Here are the most interesting Moon facts to know:
1. The Moon Goes by Several Names
When we capitalize the word “moon” (Moon), we are referring to Earth’s moon, or our Moon. All other moons start with a lowercase “m.”
However, the Moon also goes by other names, as well. There’s Luna, of course, which comes from Latin lūna and Middle English luna or lune. There’s also Selene, which comes from the Ancient Greek, as well as Cynthia
2. It’s a Satellite
The moon is a satellite, but not the kind you saw on rooftops to get cable television before Netflix came along. A satellite is simply something that revolves around a planet or minor planet in space, and a our Moon is Earth’s only natural satellite.
As such, our Moon orbits the Earth, just as our Earth orbits the Sun. Every 27.3 days, the Moon makes one complete rotation around the Earth. Back in the day, many people used a lunar calendar, such as the Julian calendar, to mark the days of the year.
To power our modern technology, from espionage systems to GPS, we’ve launched some human-made satellites up there to orbit Earth, so the Moon has some company.
3. Australia is Wider Than the Moon
Australia, being about 2,511 mi (4,042 km) long at its widest point, is about 352 mi (567 km) wider than the moon, which has a diameter of 2,159 mi (3,475 km). This means that if you were to set the moon down in the middle of Australia, the edges of Australia at its easternmost and westernmost points would stick out further than the moon!
Definitely one of the most interesting moon facts, right?
4. It’s Actually Pretty Big
Despite being smaller in diameter than Australia, the Moon is pretty large in size. In fact, out of all the planetary satellites in the entire Solar System, Earth’s Moon is the biggest when it comes to moon-planet size ratio. Out of all Solar System satellites, it is the fifth largest.
It’s average, or mean, radius is 1,079.4 mi (1737 km). It has a total circumference of 6,786 mi (10,921 km).
5. The Moon Causes Earth’s Tides
Because the Moon has significant gravity, actually causes the rising and falling of sea levels each day. When a part of Earth with oceans, seas, and even lakes is closest to Earth, there will be high tides, due to the gravitational pull of the Moon. However, the farthest part of the Earth from the Moon also gets high tides, due to inertia. Low tides form in the places in between these two distances.
Well, that’s all our Moon facts for now, but we’ll be adding more regularly. We hope you’ve found them easy to understand and informative! Got any questions, feedback, or other facts about the Moon to add to our list? Let us know below in the comments, and thanks for reading!