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The Earth and Its Moon Part 2: The Earth’s Moon 1.

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Presentation on theme: "The Earth and Its Moon Part 2: The Earth’s Moon 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Earth and Its Moon Part 2: The Earth’s Moon 1

2 Men on the Moon  The Apollo space program’s objective was to land men on the moon and bring them safely back home.  1 st moon landing was July 20, 1969 in the Sea of Tranquility  From 1969 through 1972, 12 men from 6 missions walked on the moon. 2 Neil A. Armstrong, commander Michael Collins, command module pilot Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., lunar module pilot

3 The Moon’s Characteristics  Diameter: 3476km (about ¼ Earth’s)  Mass: about 1/80 th that of the Earth  Gravity: about 1/6 th that of Earth  Average Distance from Earth: 363,301km 3 Moon Facts: Comparative sizes of the Earth and the Moon, as imaged by Deep Impact in September 2008 from 50 million km away. Credit: NASA

4 The Moon’s Characteristics  The surface temperature at the equator during the day is 134 o C, and at night is ­­-153 o C.  The moon is not round, but egg shaped with the large end pointed towards earth.  The moon has no significant atmosphere or clouds. 4 Full Moon photograph taken from Madison, Alabama Photo Credit: Gregory H. Revera

5 The Moon’s Structure  Similar to Earth’s  Iron-rich inner core with a radius of nearly 150 miles  Fluid, primarily liquid-iron, outer core  A partially molten boundary layer around the core  Mantle  Crust – 60 km thick  Regolith: layer of dust, soil, and broken rock covering most of the moon 5

6 Features of the Moon  Highlands: mountain ranges  Maria (MAHR-ee-uh; singular-mare; Latin for seas): broad, smooth, lowland plains; the dark areas; vast solidified pools of ancient basaltic lava; evidence that the moon was once hot and active 6 Near side (left) and far side (right) of the Moon, by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

7 Features of the Moon  Rilles: long valleys  Craters: primarily impact craters formed by the continuous bombardment of the moon by meteorites  Estimated to be about 300,000 larger than 1km across  Named for scholars, scientists, artists and explorers; Copernicus is an example 7 Near side (left) and far side (right) of the Moon, by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

8 Movements of the Moon  The Moon's orbit is inclined about 5 degrees from the Earth's ecliptic orbit around the sun.  One revolution takes about 27.3 days. (The Orbital speed of the moon is 3,680 km/h.)  One rotation of the moon on its axis takes about the same 27.3 days.  Because a revolution and a rotation take the same time, we always see the same side of the moon. 8 moon-rises-50-minutes-later.html

9 Movements of the Moon  The orbit of the moon is elliptical.  Perigee: point closest to Earth; about 362,600 km  Apogee: point farthest from Earth; about 405,400km 9

10 Origin of the Moon  The moon is about 4.5 billions years old Formation:  One Theory: The moon formed far away from the Earth and was then “captured” by the Earth’s gravity.  Second Theory: The moon formed along with the Earth. 10  Third Theory: The moon split off from the Earth due to centrifugal force.  Each of these theories fails in some way to account for all the evidence we have.

11 Origin of the Moon  Current Prevailing Theory: Soon after the Earth was formed, a Mars-sized asteroid impacted it and blasted material into orbit around the Earth. That material came together to form the moon.  Recent evidence (2012) suggests that this may not be correct, as the moon’s composition appears to be exactly the same as the Earth’s, with no second contributor. 11

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