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The moon, our one and only natural satellite, is the single place outside of our planet that humans have set foot. Go over the different facts about our moon in the image above and then check the information below to learn even more facts about the brightest stellar body in our night sky.
- It likely formed when a very large (Mars-sized) asteroid struck Earth 4.5 billion years ago, very early in our planet's history. The debris from the impact clumped together to form our natural satellite, the Moon. This shared formation explains why Earth and the Moon are made up of many of the same elements. source
- Yes, there is ice water in some of the permanently shadowed regions of the moon.
- The first definitive discovery of water was made in 2008 by the Indian mission Chandrayaan-1, which detected hydroxyl molecules spread across the lunar surface and concentrated at the poles. Missions such as Lunar Prospector, LCROSS, and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, have not only shown that the surface of the Moon has global hydration but there are actually high concentrations of ice water in the permanently shadowed regions of the lunar poles. source
This is a trick question as there are no seas like the ones we have on earth, but there are maria, large dark areas on the surface of the moon. Maria means seas in Latin.
- The light areas of the Moon are known as the highlands. The dark features, called maria (Latin for seas), are impact basins that were filled with lava between 4.2 and 1.2 billion years ago. These light and dark areas represent rocks of different compositions and ages, which provide evidence for how the early crust may have crystallized from a lunar magma ocean. source
So far we prepared for a hike on the surface of the moon, learning along the way about planning and some of the challenges we face outside of the comfort of our planet. Then we learned some more about our friendly natural satellite. It is time to explore The Lunar Gateway.