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The Moon. BY:POLLY CLEMMONS


Table of Contents          

Moon Facts How Formed Composition Size- Distance from Earth Phases Orbit Effects on the Earth Missions to the Moon- Timeline Unmanned Manned


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Moon Facts  The Moon takes about 27 days (27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes, 11.6

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seconds) to go all the way around the Earth and return to its starting position. The Moon's orbit around the Earth is a slightly squashed circle called an ellipse. A lunar month is the time the moon takes to pass through a complete cycle of its phases and is measured from New Moon to New Moon. A lunar month is about 29.5 days (29 days, 12 hours, 43 The Moon is 4.5 billion years old. The moon orbits Earth at an average speed of 2,288 miles per hour (3,683 kilometers per hour). The Moon travels at different speeds during different parts of its orbit. It moves slowest when it is at furthest distance from Earth. The Moon moves fastest in its orbit when it is closest to Earth.


How the Moon Was Formed  The prevailing hypothesis today is that the

Earth–Moon system formed as a result of a giant impact: a Mars-sized body hitting the newly formed proto-Earth, blasting material into orbit around it, which accreted to form the Moon.


Composition  42% oxygen

21% silicon 13% iron 8% calcium 7% aluminum 6% magnesium 3% other elements


Size/Distance from Earth  The moon is 3,476 km in diameter.

 The moon is about 384,392 km away from Earth.


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Phases of the Moon 

New Moon - The Moon's unilluminated side is facing the Earth. The Moon is not visible (except during a solar eclipse). Waxing Crescent The Moon appears to be partly but less than one-half illuminated by direct sunlight. The fraction of the Moon's disk that is illuminated is increasing. First Quarter - One-half of the Moon appears to be illuminated by direct sunlight. The fraction of the Moon's disk that is illuminated is increasing. Waxing Gibbous - The Moon appears to be more than one-half but not fully illuminated by direct sunlight. The fraction of the Moon's disk that is illuminated is increasing. Full Moon The Moon's illuminated side is facing the Earth. The Moon appears to be completely illuminated by direct sunlight. Waning Gibbous - The Moon appears to be more than one-half but not fully illuminated by direct sunlight. The fraction of the Moon's disk that is illuminated is decreasing. Last Quarter - One-half of the Moon appears to be illuminated by direct sunlight. The fraction of the Moon's disk that is illuminated is decreasing. Waning Crescent - The Moon appears to be partly but less than one-half illuminated by direct sunlight. The fraction of the Moon's disk that is illuminated is decreasing.


Phases of the Moon


Orbit  The Moon makes a complete orbit around the

Earth with respect to the fixed stars about once every 27.3 days (its sidereal period). However, since the Earth is moving in its orbit about the Sun at the same time, it takes slightly longer for the Moon to show the same phase to Earth, which is about 29.5 days.


Effects on Earth  The gravitational attraction that the Moon exerts on Earth

is the cause of tides in the sea. The tidal flow period is synchronized to the Moon's orbit around Earth, but the phase isn't. The tidal bulges on Earth, caused by the Moon's gravity, are carried ahead of the apparent position of the Moon by the Earth's rotation, in part because of the friction of the water as it slides over the ocean bottom and into or out of bays and estuaries. As a result, some of the Earth's rotational momentum is gradually being transferred to the Moon's orbital momentum, resulting in the Moon slowly receding from Earth at the rate of approximately 38 mm per year. At the same time the Earth's rotation is gradually slowing, the Earth's day thus lengthens by about 15 Âľs every year.


Missions to the MoonTimeline


Unmanned Missions  

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Sept. 23, 1958 Ye-1 No. 1 Impact 8K72**/B1-3 The booster rocket failed at T+93 seconds Oct. 12, 1958 Ye-1 No. 2 Impact 8K72/B1-4 Booster exploded at T+104 seconds Dec. 4, 1958 Ye-1 No. 3 Impact 8K72/B1-5 Rocket booster failed at T+245.4 seconds Jan. 2, 1959 Ye-1 No. 4 Luna-1 Impact 8K72/B1-6 World's first spacecraft to escape Earth gravity. Missed the Moon June 18, 1959 Ye-1A No. 5


Manned Missions               

Apollo 1 January 27, 1967 Crew: Virgil I. (Gus) Grissom, Edward H. White II, Roger B. Chaffee Apollo 7 October 11-22, 1968 Crew: Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Donn F. Eisele, Walter Cunningham Apollo 8 December 21-27, 1968 Crew: Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr., William A. Anders Apollo 9 March 3-13, 1969 Crew: James A. McDivitt, David R. Scott, Russell L. Schweickart Apollo 10 May 18-26, 1969 Crew: Thomas P. Stafford, John W. Young, Eugene A. Cernan


The Moon.  

by Polly Clemmons

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