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Amazing Facts About Earth's Largest Satellite

 

 

You don't need a telescope to appreciate the beauty of the moon. Despite it's massive size, we only get to see a fraction of the moon from Earth. The total surface area of the moon is approximately 9.4 billion acres, which is over four times the total combined distance of land in the United States. 

Here are 16 other incredible facts about the earth's only natural satellite you should know about. 
 
1 ) The Moon Can Turn You Into a Better Golfer  

Facts about the moon
 
 
That was the case, at least, for astronaut Alan Sheppard. He was able to drive a ball over 2,400 feet off the surface of the moon, nearly a mile in distance! 

 
  2) The Moon Makes Us Lose Sleep

 
  Facts about the moon  
 
Do you ever lie awake, tossing and turning at night? Sleeping becomes a bit more difficult when the bright glowing light of the moon comes directly in contact with our eyes. Studies suggest that the bright glow can keep you awake for an extra 20 minutes as a result. 

 
  3) The Soviets Were There First 

 
  Facts about the moon  
 

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Despite popular belief that the U.S. had explored the moon first, it was actually the Soviets who beat them to the race. The Luna 3 was a Soviet designed spacecraft that snapped several photos of the moon back in 1959.

 
  4) Dark Side of the Moon

 
  Facts about the moon  
 
A lunar eclispe occurs when the Earth is trapped between the sun and the moon. The shadow of the Earth blocks the light from the sun, which is then reflected off the moon. The next lunar eclipse is set for April 4, 2015.

 
  5) The Moon is Responsible for Our Calendar

 
  Facts about the moon  
 
It takes the moon the course of an entire month to orbit the Earth. Without the presence of the moon, the average day on Earth would last between six to eight hours long. 

 

6) Garbage on the Moon

 
  Facts about the moon  
 
Apollo 11 was the first American space mission to successfully land several astronauts on the moon. It took place July 20, 1969, and would mark a monumental occassion in U.S. history as well. The trip featured astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and was piloted by Michael Collins. Neil Armstrong famously exclaimed "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind"

 
 
  7) We Nearly Destroyed the Moon

 
  Facts about the moon  
 
The moon was nearly blown to pieces during the Cold War. The United States wanted to demonstrate the power of its Nuclear Arms to the Soviets. Fortunately, the moon was never harmed.

 
  8) Lose Weight On the Moon

 
   
 
You won't need a scale if your on the moon. This is due in part to the weaker gravitational pull from the moon, making you as light as a feather. You can also jump much higher. 

 
  9) Apollo 11 Landed Astronauts On the Moon First
 
  Facts about the moon  
 
Apollo 11 was the first American space mission to successfully land several astronauts on the moon. It took place July 20, 1969, and would mark a monumental occassion in U.S. history as well. The trip featured astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and was piloted by Michael Collins. Neil Armstrong famously exclaimed "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind"

 
  10) It's Freezing On the Moon

 
  Facts about the moon  
 
The average temperatures of the moon at night can reach between 200 - 387°F. Space suits are used to protect astronauts against the harsh temperatures of the moon. The moon can get hot as well, reaching temperatures close to 253° F during the day. 

 
  11) The Shadow of the Moon Can Swallow You Whole 

 
  Facts about the moon  
 
When Pink Floyd spoke about The Dark Side of the Moon, they really weren't kidding. The moon's shadow can cause your arm to completely disappear. The moon is pitch dark, making it virtually impossible for astronauts to perform certain tasks. Astronauts lost tools due to the pitch darkness on the moon. 

 
  12) The Moon Causes Tides





 
 
 
The moon is responsible for creating tides. Oceans gravitate towards the near side of the moon and distance themselves from the far sides. 

 
  13) The Moon is Always There For Us

 
   
 
It seems like wherever we go, the moon is right there beside us to keep company. The moon is constantly spinning on its axis to rotate around the Earth. This force is known as synchronous rotation, and rotates at a speed of ten miles per hour. 

 
  14) The Moon Makes Scorpions Glow in the Dark
 
  Facts about the moon  
 
Scorpions light up at night when the powerful UV rays of the moonlight interact with certain proteins. Scorpions are able to detect prey better, depending on the brightness of the moon.

 
  15) There Is A Name for Each Month
 
 
  Facts about the moon  
 
Full moon's are given their own distinctive set of names. Each name represents a different month, which reflects upon the names as well. 

 
  16) A Tomb On the Moon

 
  Facts about the moon  
 
There are many interesting burial sites, but none as unique as the moon. One famous geologist and astronomer named Eugene Shoemaker, had his wish to be buried on the moon. NASA honored Shoemaker's bizarre request when he passed away in 1998. His ashes still remain scattered on the moon to this day.

 
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