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Believe Extended. No No No Original Mix. Kamala original mix. Body Drop Original Mix. Time Music Original Mix. Shambala Original Mix. In Da House Original Mix. Everyday Original Mix. Look Back Original Mix. Conversation Original Mix. Into The Night Extended Mix. See also: Timeline of Solar System exploration. Main article: Exploration of the Moon: Before spaceflight.
See also: Space Race and Moon landing. Main articles: Luna program and Lunokhod programme. Main articles: Apollo program and Moon landing. Earthrise Apollo 8 , , taken by William Anders. Moon rock Lunar basalt , Apollo 17 , See also: List of proposed missions to the Moon. See also: Human presence in space. Main article: Lunar habitation. See also: Moon magic. Lunar deities. See also: Moon in science fiction and List of appearances of the Moon in fiction.
An iconic image of the Man in the Moon from the first science-fiction film set in space, A Trip to the Moon , inspired by a history of literature about going to the Moon. Main article: Lunar effect. These are quasi-satellites — they are not moons as they do not orbit Earth. For more information, see Other moons of Earth. The minimum value for a distant new moon is based on a similar scaling using the maximum Earth—Moon distance of km given in the factsheet and by calculating the brightness of the earthshine onto such a new moon.
The same fact sheet gives extreme Earth—Moon distances of km and km. For the maximum angular size, the minimum distance has to be corrected for Earth's equatorial radius of 6 km, giving km. The moon Charon is larger relative to its primary Pluto , but Pluto is now considered to be a dwarf planet. Larger planets tend to have more satellites, both large and small, than smaller planets.
At present, the diameter of the Sun is increasing at a rate of about five percent per billion years. This is very similar to the rate at which the apparent angular diameter of the Moon is decreasing as it recedes from Earth. Stewart; Tompkins, Stephanie; Hawke, B. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry. Bibcode : RvMG S2CID Archived from the original on 19 August Retrieved 2 December The Cambridge Guide to the Solar System 2nd ed.
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Magical Towel Cape Gonzaemon Remix. Best Last. Reply 1. Sign up with email: Error! The Moon is Earth 's only natural satellite. At about one-quarter the diameter of Earth comparable to the width of Australia ,  it is the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System, the largest satellite in the Solar System relative to its major planet, [f] and larger than any known dwarf planet.
The Moon is a planetary-mass object that formed a differentiated rocky body, making it a satellite planet under the geophysical definitions of the term. Its surface gravity is about one-sixth of Earth's 0. Jupiter 's moon Io is the only satellite in the Solar System known to have a higher surface gravity and density. Orbiting Earth at an average distance of , km , mi , or about 30 times Earth's diameter, its gravitational influence very slowly lengthens Earth's day and is the main driver of Earth's tides.
The Moon's orbit around Earth has a sidereal period of During each synodic period of The Moon is tidally locked to Earth, which means that the length of a full rotation of the Moon on its own axis causes its same side the near side to always face Earth, and the somewhat longer lunar day is the same as the synodic period.
The most widely accepted origin explanation posits that the Moon formed 4. It then receded to a wider orbit because of tidal interaction with the Earth. The near side of the Moon is marked by dark volcanic maria "seas" , which fill the spaces between bright ancient crustal highlands and prominent impact craters. Most of the large impact basins and mare surfaces were in place by the end of the Imbrian period, some three billion years ago.
The lunar surface is relatively non-reflective, with a reflectance just slightly brighter than that of worn asphalt. However, because it has a large angular diameter , the full moon is the brightest celestial object in the night sky. The Moon's apparent size is nearly the same as that of the Sun, allowing it to cover the Sun almost completely during a total solar eclipse. Both the Moon's prominence in the earthly sky and its regular cycle of phases have provided cultural references and influences for human societies throughout history.
Such influences can be found in language, calendar systems, art, and mythology. The first artificial object to reach the Moon was the Soviet Union 's Luna 2 uncrewed spacecraft in ; this was followed by the first successful soft landing by Luna 9 in The only human lunar missions to date have been those of the United States ' Apollo program , which landed twelve men on the surface between and These and later uncrewed missions returned lunar rocks that have been used to develop a detailed geological understanding of the Moon's origins , internal structure , and subsequent history.
The usual English proper name for Earth's natural satellite is simply Moon , with a capital M. The Greek goddess of the wilderness and the hunt, Artemis , equated with the Roman Diana , one of whose symbols was the Moon and who was often regarded as the goddess of the Moon, was also called Cynthia , from her legendary birthplace on Mount Cynthus.
Isotope dating of lunar samples suggests the Moon formed around 50 million years after the origin of the Solar System. A fission of the Moon from Earth's crust through centrifugal force  would require too great an initial rotation rate of Earth.
The prevailing theory is that the Earth—Moon system formed after a giant impact of a Mars -sized body named Theia with the proto-Earth. Giant impacts are thought to have been common in the early Solar System. Computer simulations of giant impacts have produced results that are consistent with the mass of the lunar core and the angular momentum of the Earth—Moon system.
These simulations show that most of the Moon derived from the impactor, rather than the proto-Earth. However, Earth and the Moon have nearly identical isotopic compositions. The isotopic equalization of the Earth-Moon system might be explained by the post-impact mixing of the vaporized material that formed the two,  although this is debated. The impact would have released enough energy to liquefy both the ejecta and the Earth's crust, forming a magma ocean.
The liquefied ejecta could have then re-accreted into the Earth—Moon system. While the giant-impact theory explains many lines of evidence, some questions are still unresolved, most of which involve the Moon's composition. In , a team at the Carnegie Institute of Washington reported the most precise measurement of the isotopic signatures of lunar rocks.
These discrepancies may be explained by variations of the giant-impact theory. For instance, a high-speed drive-by hit by the impactor could have allowed it to return to Earth a second time but more slowly, and mix more thoroughly. Its shape is more elongated than current tidal forces can account for. This 'fossil bulge' indicates that the Moon solidified when it orbited at half its current distance to the Earth, and that it is now too cold for its shape to adjust to its orbit.
The Moon is by size and mass the fifth largest natural satellite of the Solar System, categorizeable as one of its planetary-mass moons , making it a satellite planet under the geophysical definitions of the term. While the minor-planet moon Charon of the Pluto-Charon system is larger relative to Pluto, [g]  the Moon is the largest natural satellite of the Solar System relative to their primary planets. The Moon's diameter is about 3, km, more than a quarter of Earth's, with the face of the Moon comparable to the width of Australia.
The Moon is a differentiated body that was initially in hydrostatic equilibrium but has since departed from this condition. The Moon has a solid iron-rich inner core with a radius possibly as small as kilometres mi and a fluid outer core primarily made of liquid iron with a radius of roughly kilometres mi. Around the core is a partially molten boundary layer with a radius of about kilometres mi. Crystallization of this magma ocean would have created a mafic mantle from the precipitation and sinking of the minerals olivine , clinopyroxene , and orthopyroxene ; after about three-quarters of the magma ocean had crystallised, lower-density plagioclase minerals could form and float into a crust atop.
The Moon is the second-densest satellite in the Solar System, after Io. Its composition is not well understood, but is probably metallic iron alloyed with a small amount of sulfur and nickel; analyses of the Moon's time-variable rotation suggest that it is at least partly molten.
The Moon has an external magnetic field of generally less than 0. The Moon does not currently have a global dipolar magnetic field and only has crustal magnetization likely acquired early in its history when a dynamo was still operating. These clouds are generated during large impacts in an ambient magnetic field. This is supported by the location of the largest crustal magnetizations situated near the antipodes of the giant impact basins.
The gravitational field of the Moon has been measured through tracking the Doppler shift of radio signals emitted by orbiting spacecraft. The main lunar gravity features are mascons , large positive gravitational anomalies associated with some of the giant impact basins, partly caused by the dense mare basaltic lava flows that fill those basins.
There are some puzzles: lava flows by themselves cannot explain all of the gravitational signature, and some mascons exist that are not linked to mare volcanism. The exposed surfaces of spacecraft are considered unlikely to harbor bacterial spores after just one lunar orbit. The Moon has an atmosphere so tenuous as to be nearly vacuum , with a total mass of less than 10 tonnes 9.
Its sources include outgassing and sputtering , a product of the bombardment of lunar soil by solar wind ions. Studies of Moon magma samples retrieved by the Apollo missions demonstrate that the Moon had once possessed a relatively thick atmosphere for a period of 70 million years between 3 and 4 billion years ago.
This atmosphere, sourced from gases ejected from lunar volcanic eruptions, was twice the thickness of that of present-day Mars. The ancient lunar atmosphere was eventually stripped away by solar winds and dissipated into space. A permanent Moon dust cloud exists around the Moon, generated by small particles from comets.
Estimates are 5 tons of comet particles strike the Moon's surface every 24 hours, resulting in the ejection of dust particles. The dust stays above the Moon approximately 10 minutes, taking 5 minutes to rise, and 5 minutes to fall. On average, kilograms of dust are present above the Moon, rising up to kilometers above the surface.
The lunar dust cloud is asymmetric, being more dense near the boundary between the Moon's dayside and nightside. Blanketed on top of the Moon's crust is a highly comminuted broken into ever smaller particles and impact gardened mostly gray surface layer called regolith , formed by impact processes.
The finer regolith, the lunar soil of silicon dioxide glass, has a texture resembling snow and a scent resembling spent gunpowder. Liquid water cannot persist on the lunar surface. When exposed to solar radiation, water quickly decomposes through a process known as photodissociation and is lost to space. However, since the s, scientists have hypothesized that water ice may be deposited by impacting comets or possibly produced by the reaction of oxygen-rich lunar rocks, and hydrogen from solar wind , leaving traces of water which could possibly persist in cold, permanently shadowed craters at either pole on the Moon.
In years since, signatures of water have been found to exist on the lunar surface. However, later radar observations by Arecibo , suggest these findings may rather be rocks ejected from young impact craters. The Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft has since confirmed the existence of surface water ice, using the on-board Moon Mineralogy Mapper.
The spectrometer observed absorption lines common to hydroxyl , in reflected sunlight, providing evidence of large quantities of water ice, on the lunar surface. The spacecraft showed that concentrations may possibly be as high as 1, ppm. In May , — ppm water in melt inclusions in lunar sample was reported,  the famous high-titanium "orange glass soil" of volcanic origin collected during the Apollo 17 mission in The inclusions were formed during explosive eruptions on the Moon approximately 3.
This concentration is comparable with that of magma in Earth's upper mantle. Although of considerable selenological interest, this insight does not mean that water is easily available since the sample originated many kilometers below the surface, and the inclusions are so difficult to access that it took 39 years to find them with a state-of-the-art ion microprobe instrument. Analysis of the findings of the Moon Mineralogy Mapper M3 revealed in August for the first time "definitive evidence" for water-ice on the lunar surface.
In October , astronomers reported detecting molecular water on the sunlit surface of the Moon by several independent spacecraft, including the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy SOFIA. The topography of the Moon has been measured with laser altimetry and stereo image analysis.
The discovery of fault scarp cliffs suggest that the Moon has shrunk by about 90 metres ft within the past billion years. Mare Frigoris, a basin near the north pole long assumed to be geologically dead, has cracked and shifted.
Since the Moon doesn't have tectonic plates, its tectonic activity is slow and cracks develop as it loses heat. The dark and relatively featureless lunar plains, clearly seen with the naked eye, are called maria Latin for "seas"; singular mare , as they were once believed to be filled with water;  they are now known to be vast solidified pools of ancient basaltic lava.
Although similar to terrestrial basalts, lunar basalts have more iron and no minerals altered by water. Several geologic provinces containing shield volcanoes and volcanic domes are found within the near side "maria". In , a study of Ina , a tiny depression in Lacus Felicitatis , found jagged, relatively dust-free features that, because of the lack of erosion by infalling debris, appeared to be only 2 million years old. This raises the possibility of a much warmer lunar mantle than previously believed, at least on the near side where the deep crust is substantially warmer because of the greater concentration of radioactive elements.
Some combination of an initially hotter mantle and local enrichment of heat-producing elements in the mantle could be responsible for prolonged activities on the far side in the Orientale basin. The lighter-colored regions of the Moon are called terrae , or more commonly highlands , because they are higher than most maria. They have been radiometrically dated to having formed 4.
The concentration of maria on the near side likely reflects the substantially thicker crust of the highlands of the Far Side, which may have formed in a slow-velocity impact of a second moon of Earth a few tens of millions of years after the Moon's formation.
A major geologic process that has affected the Moon's surface is impact cratering ,  with craters formed when asteroids and comets collide with the lunar surface. There are estimated to be roughly , craters wider than 1 km 0. Although only a few multi-ring basins have been definitively dated, they are useful for assigning relative ages.
Because impact craters accumulate at a nearly constant rate, counting the number of craters per unit area can be used to estimate the age of the surface. High-resolution images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in the s show a contemporary crater-production rate significantly higher than was previously estimated.
A secondary cratering process caused by distal ejecta is thought to churn the top two centimeters of regolith on a timescale of 81, years. Lunar swirls are enigmatic features found across the Moon's surface. They are characterized by a high albedo, appear optically immature i. Their shape is often accentuated by low albedo regions that wind between the bright swirls.
They are located in places with enhanced surface magnetic fields and many are located at the antipodal point of major impacts. Well known swirls include the Reiner Gamma feature and Mare Ingenii. They are hypothesized to be areas that have been partially shielded from the solar wind , resulting in slower space weathering. While orbiting around the Sun, the Earth and Moon orbit around their common center of mass, or barycentre , with a sidereal period of This barycentre is located 1, km 1, mi about a quarter of Earth's radius beneath the Earth's surface.
The instantaneous Earth—Moon distance, or distance to the Moon, is the current distance from the center of Earth to the center of the Moon. Lunar distance , the semi-major axis of the geocentric lunar orbit, is a unit of measure in astronomy. This distance is approximately , km, which is a quarter of a million miles or 1. The orbital eccentricity , giving ovalness of the orbit, is 0. Scale model of the Earth—Moon system: Sizes and distances are to scale.
Because of tidal locking , the rotation of the Moon around its own axis is synchronous to its orbital period around the Earth. The Moon makes a complete orbit around Earth with respect to the fixed stars about once every However, because Earth is moving in its orbit around the Sun at the same time, it takes slightly longer for the Moon to show the same phase to Earth, which is about Unlike most satellites of other planets, the Moon orbits closer to the ecliptic plane than to the planet's equatorial plane.
The Moon's orbit is subtly perturbed by the Sun and Earth in many small, complex and interacting ways. For example, the plane of the Moon's orbit gradually rotates once every These follow-on effects are mathematically described by Cassini's laws. The Moon's axial tilt with respect to the ecliptic is only 1.
Because of this, the Moon's solar illumination varies much less with season, and topographical details play a crucial role in seasonal effects. No such regions exist at the south pole. This is the coldest temperature in the Solar System ever measured by a spacecraft, colder even than the surface of Pluto.
This motion is superimposed on the much larger revolution of the Earth around the Sun at a speed of about 30 kilometres 19 mi per second. The gravitational attraction that masses have for one another decreases inversely with the square of the distance of those masses from each other. As a result, the slightly greater attraction that the Moon has for the side of Earth closest to the Moon, as compared to the part of the Earth opposite the Moon, results in tidal forces.
Tidal forces affect both the Earth's crust and oceans. The most obvious effect of tidal forces is to cause two bulges in the Earth's oceans, one on the side facing the Moon and the other on the side opposite. This results in elevated sea levels called ocean tides.
As a result, there are two high tides, and two low tides in about 24 hours. While gravitation causes acceleration and movement of the Earth's fluid oceans, gravitational coupling between the Moon and Earth's solid body is mostly elastic and plastic. The result is a further tidal effect of the Moon on the Earth that causes a bulge of the solid portion of the Earth nearest the Moon.
Delays in the tidal peaks of both ocean and solid-body tides cause torque in opposition to the Earth's rotation. This "drains" angular momentum and rotational kinetic energy from Earth's rotation, slowing the Earth's rotation. Thus the distance between Earth and Moon is increasing , and the Earth's rotation is slowing in reaction. This tidal drag would continue until the rotation of Earth and the orbital period of the Moon matched, creating mutual tidal locking between the two and suspending the Moon over one meridian this is currently the case with Pluto and its moon Charon.
However, the Sun will become a red giant engulfing the Earth-Moon system long before this occurrence. In a like manner, the lunar surface experiences tides of around 10 cm 4 in amplitude over 27 days, with three components: a fixed one due to Earth, because they are in synchronous rotation , a variable tide due to orbital eccentricity and inclination, and a small varying component from the Sun. Moonquakes are much less common and weaker than are earthquakes, although moonquakes can last for up to an hour — significantly longer than terrestrial quakes — because of scattering of the seismic vibrations in the dry fragmented upper crust.
The existence of moonquakes was an unexpected discovery from seismometers placed on the Moon by Apollo astronauts from through According to recent research, scientists suggest that the Moon's influence on the Earth may contribute to maintaining Earth's magnetic field. The synchronous rotation of the Moon as it orbits the Earth results in it always keeping nearly the same face turned towards the planet. The far side is often inaccurately called the "dark side", but it is in fact illuminated as often as the near side: once every During new moon , the near side is dark.
The Moon originally rotated at a faster rate, but early in its history its rotation slowed and became tidally locked in this orientation as a result of frictional effects associated with tidal deformations caused by Earth. In , planetary scientists using data collected on the NASA Lunar Prospector mission, found two hydrogen-rich areas most likely former water ice on opposite sides of the Moon. It is speculated that these patches were the poles of the Moon billions of years ago before it was tidally locked to Earth.
The Moon has an exceptionally low albedo , giving it a reflectance that is slightly brighter than that of worn asphalt. Despite this, it is the brightest object in the sky after the Sun. The edges of the full moon seem as bright as the center, without limb darkening , because of the reflective properties of lunar soil , which retroreflects light more towards the Sun than in other directions.
The Moon's color depends on the light the Moon reflects, which in turn depends on the Moon's surface and its features, having for example large darker regions. In general the lunar surface reflects a brown-tinged gray light. The Moon does appear larger when close to the horizon, but this is a purely psychological effect, known as the Moon illusion , first described in the 7th century BC. The Moon's highest altitude at culmination varies by its phase and time of year.
The full moon is highest in the sky during winter for each hemisphere. The orientation of the Moon's crescent depends on the latitude of the viewing location; an observer in the tropics can see a smile-shaped crescent Moon. Zooplankton in the Arctic use moonlight when the Sun is below the horizon for months on end. In the northern hemisphere it is seen upside down compared to the view in the southern hemisphere.
The distance between the Moon and Earth varies from around , km , mi to , km , mi at perigee closest and apogee farthest , respectively. When the actual reduction is 1. There has been historical controversy over whether features on the Moon's surface change over time. Today, many of these claims are thought to be illusory, resulting from observation under different lighting conditions, poor astronomical seeing , or inadequate drawings.
However, outgassing does occasionally occur and could be responsible for a minor percentage of the reported lunar transient phenomena. Recently, it has been suggested that a roughly 3 km 1. The Moon's appearance, like the Sun's, can be affected by Earth's atmosphere. Eclipses only occur when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are all in a straight line termed " syzygy ".
Solar eclipses occur at new moon , when the Moon is between the Sun and Earth. In contrast, lunar eclipses occur at full moon, when Earth is between the Sun and Moon. The apparent size of the Moon is roughly the same as that of the Sun, with both being viewed at close to one-half a degree wide. The Sun is much larger than the Moon but it is the vastly greater distance that gives it the same apparent size as the much closer and much smaller Moon from the perspective of Earth.
The variations in apparent size, due to the non-circular orbits, are nearly the same as well, though occurring in different cycles. This makes possible both total with the Moon appearing larger than the Sun and annular with the Moon appearing smaller than the Sun solar eclipses. Because the distance between the Moon and Earth is very slowly increasing over time,  the angular diameter of the Moon is decreasing.
As it evolves toward becoming a red giant , the size of the Sun, and its apparent diameter in the sky, are slowly increasing. Likewise, hundreds of millions of years in the future, the Moon will no longer cover the Sun completely, and total solar eclipses will not occur.
Because the Moon's orbit around Earth is inclined by about 5. For an eclipse to occur, the Moon must be near the intersection of the two orbital planes. Because the Moon continuously blocks the view of a half-degree-wide circular area of the sky, [m]  the related phenomenon of occultation occurs when a bright star or planet passes behind the Moon and is occulted: hidden from view.
In this way, a solar eclipse is an occultation of the Sun. Because the Moon is comparatively close to Earth, occultations of individual stars are not visible everywhere on the planet, nor at the same time. Because of the precession of the lunar orbit, each year different stars are occulted. Since pre-historic times people have taken note of the Moon's phases , its waxing and waning, and used it to keep record of time.
Tally sticks , notched bones dating as far back as 20—30, years ago, are believed by some to mark the phases of the Moon. The ancient Greek philosopher Anaxagoras d. In Aristotle 's — BC description of the universe , the Moon marked the boundary between the spheres of the mutable elements earth, water, air and fire , and the imperishable stars of aether , an influential philosophy that would dominate for centuries. Although the Chinese of the Han Dynasty believed the Moon to be energy equated to qi , their 'radiating influence' theory recognized that the light of the Moon was merely a reflection of the Sun, and Jing Fang 78—37 BC noted the sphericity of the Moon.
In AD, the Indian astronomer Aryabhata mentioned in his Aryabhatiya that reflected sunlight is the cause of the shining of the Moon. During the Middle Ages , before the invention of the telescope, the Moon was increasingly recognised as a sphere, though many believed that it was "perfectly smooth".
In , Galileo Galilei used an early telescope to make drawings of the Moon for his book Sidereus Nuncius , and deduced that it was not smooth but had mountains and craters. Thomas Harriot had made, but not published such drawings a few months earlier.
Telescopic mapping of the Moon followed: later in the 17th century, the efforts of Giovanni Battista Riccioli and Francesco Maria Grimaldi led to the system of naming of lunar features in use today. Between the first human arrival with the robotic Soviet Luna program in , to the s with the last Missions of the crewed U. Spacecraft from the Soviet Union's Luna program were the first to accomplish a number of goals: following three unnamed, failed missions in ,  the first human-made object to escape Earth's gravity and pass near the Moon was Luna 1 ; the first human-made object to impact the lunar surface was Luna 2 , and the first photographs of the normally occluded far side of the Moon were made by Luna 3 , all in The first spacecraft to perform a successful lunar soft landing was Luna 9 and the first vehicle to orbit the Moon was Luna 10 , both in During the late s at the height of the Cold War, the United States Army conducted a classified feasibility study that proposed the construction of a staffed military outpost on the Moon called Project Horizon with the potential to conduct a wide range of missions from scientific research to nuclear Earth bombardment.
The study included the possibility of conducting a lunar-based nuclear test. Following President John F. Kennedy 's commitment to a manned Moon landing before the end of the decade, the United States, under NASA leadership, launched a series of uncrewed probes to develop an understanding of the lunar surface in preparation for human missions: the Jet Propulsion Laboratory 's Ranger program produced the first close-up pictures; the Lunar Orbiter program produced maps of the entire Moon; the Surveyor program landed its first spacecraft four months after Luna 9.
The crewed Apollo program was developed in parallel; after a series of uncrewed and crewed tests of the Apollo spacecraft in Earth orbit, and spurred on by a potential Soviet lunar human landing , in Apollo 8 made the first human mission to lunar orbit. The subsequent landing of the first humans on the Moon in is seen by many as the culmination of the Space Race. Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the Moon as the commander of the American mission Apollo 11 by first setting foot on the Moon at UTC on 21 July Scientific instrument packages were installed on the lunar surface during all the Apollo landings.
Long-lived instrument stations , including heat flow probes, seismometers , and magnetometers , were installed at the Apollo 12 , 14 , 15 , 16 , and 17 landing sites. Direct transmission of data to Earth concluded in late because of budgetary considerations,   but as the stations' lunar laser ranging corner-cube retroreflector arrays are passive instruments, they are still being used.
Ranging to the stations is routinely performed from Earth-based stations with an accuracy of a few centimeters, and data from this experiment are being used to place constraints on the size of the lunar core. In the s, after the Moon race, the focus of astronautic exploration shifted, as probes like Pioneer 10 and the Voyager program were sent towards the outer Solar System. Years of near lunar quietude followed, only broken by a beginning internationalization of space and the Moon through, for example, the negotiation of the Moon treaty.
Since the s, many more countries have become involved in direct exploration of the Moon. In , Japan became the third country to place a spacecraft into lunar orbit with its Hiten spacecraft. The spacecraft released a smaller probe, Hagoromo , in lunar orbit, but the transmitter failed, preventing further scientific use of the mission.
This mission obtained the first near-global topographic map of the Moon, and the first global multispectral images of the lunar surface. The European spacecraft SMART-1 , the second ion-propelled spacecraft, was in lunar orbit from 15 November until its lunar impact on 3 September , and made the first detailed survey of chemical elements on the lunar surface.
The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program began with Chang'e 1 , which successfully orbited the Moon from 5 November until its controlled lunar impact on 1 March ,  obtaining a full image map of the Moon. The Chang'e 2 mission began October , mapping the surface at a higher resolution over an eight-month period. This was the first lunar rover mission since Lunokhod 2 in and the first lunar soft landing since Luna 24 in Another rover mission, Chang'e 4 , was launched in and was the first spacecraft to land on the Moon's far side.
Between 4 October and 10 June , the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency 's Kaguya Selene mission, a lunar orbiter fitted with a high-definition video camera, and two small radio-transmitter satellites, obtained lunar geophysics data and took the first high-definition movies from beyond Earth orbit. The lander Vikram attempted to land on the lunar south pole region on 6 September, but lost the signal in 2.
What happened after that is unknown. The U. NASA released photos of the crater on 25 December Upcoming lunar missions include Russia's Luna-Glob : an uncrewed lander with a set of seismometers, and an orbiter based on its failed Martian Fobos-Grunt mission. NASA began to plan to resume human missions following the call by U.
President George W. Bush on 14 January for a human mission to the Moon by and the construction of a lunar base by On 28 February , SpaceX , Vodafone , Nokia and Audi announced a collaboration to install a 4G wireless communication network on the Moon, with the aim of streaming live footage on the surface to Earth. Recent reports indicate NASA's planned mids mission to the moon will include a female astronaut. The decision is regarded as a precedent helping to define regulatory standards for deep-space commercial activity in the future.
Previously, private companies were restricted to operating on or around Earth. On 29 November NASA announced that nine commercial companies would compete to win a contract to send small payloads to the Moon in what is known as Commercial Lunar Payload Services.
Beside the remains of human activity on the Moon, there have been some intended permanent installations like the Moon Museum art piece, Apollo 11 goodwill messages , six Lunar plaques , the Fallen Astronaut memorial, and other artifacts.
While the Moon has the lowest planetary protection target-categorization, its degradation as a pristine body and scientific place has been discussed  and particularly understood regarding keeping the Shielded Zone of the Moon SZM , of value for astronomy from the Moon , free from any radio spectrum pollution , as well as conserving the special and scientifically interesting nature of the Moon, in face of prospecting commercial and national projects to claim and exploit the Moon.
The so-called "Tardigrade affair" of the crashed Beresheet lander and its carrying of tardigrades has been discussed as an example for lacking measures and lacking international regulation for planetary protection. Space debris beyond Earth around the Moon has been considered as a future challenge with increasing numbers of missions to the Moon, particularly as a danger for such missions.
Longterm missions continuing to be active are some orbiters such as the launched Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter surveilling the Moon for future missions, as well as some Landers such as the launched Chang'e 3 with its Lunar Ultraviolet Telescope still operational.
There are several missions by different agencies and companies planned to establish a longterm human presence on the Moon, with the Lunar Gateway as the currently most advanced project as part of the Artemis program. For many years, the Moon has been recognized as an excellent site for telescopes. The only instances of humans living on the Moon have taken place in an Apollo Lunar Module for example, during the Apollo 17 mission for several days at a time. Astronauts could taste and smell the dust, calling it the "Apollo aroma".
In at least one plant seed sprouted in an experiment on the Chang'e 4 lander. It was carried from Earth along with other small life in its Lunar Micro Ecosystem. Although several individuals have made claims to the Moon in whole or in part, none of these are considered credible. In , U. The order emphasizes that "the United States does not view outer space as a 'global commons ' " and calls the Moon Agreement "a failed attempt at constraining free enterprise.
In the face of such increasing commercial and national interest, particularly prospecting territories, US lawmakers have introduced regulation for the conservation of historic landing sites  and interest groups have argued for making such sites World Heritage Sites  and zones of scientific value protected zones, all of which add to the legal availability and territorialization of the Moon.
The Declaration of the Rights of the Moon  was created by a group of "lawyers, space archaeologists and concerned citizens" in , drawing on precedents in the Rights of Nature movement and the concept of legal personality for non-human entities in space. In light of future development on the Moon some international and multi- space agency organizations have been created:. The words for the month in a range of different languages carry this relation between the period of the month and the Moon etymologically.
The English month as well as moon , and its cognates in other Indo-European languages e. This lunar timekeeping gave rise to the historically dominant, but varied, lunisolar calendars. The 7th-century Islamic calendar is an example of a purely lunar calendar , where months are traditionally determined by the visual sighting of the hilal, or earliest crescent moon, over the horizon. Of particular significance has been for a range of cultures and calendars the occasion of the Full Moon, to use or celebrate, particularly around the autumnal equinox , the so-called Harvest Moon.
Furthermore association of time with the Moon can also be found in religion, such as the ancient Egyptian temporal and lunar deity Khonsu. Since prehistoric and ancient times humans have depicted and interpreted the Moon, particularly for astrology and religion, as lunar deity. For the representation of the Moon, especially its lunar phases , the crescent symbol has been particularly used by many cultures. The crescent was further used as an element of lunar deities wearing headgears or crowns in an arrangement reminiscent of horns , as in the case of the ancient Greek Selene   or the ancient Egyptian Khonsu.
Selene is associated with Artemis and paralleled by the Roman Luna , which both are occasionally depicted driving a chariot , like the Hindu lunar deity Chandra. The different or sharing aspects of deities within pantheons has been observed in many cultures, especially by later or contemporary culture, particularly forming triple deities.
The Moon in Roman mythology for example has been associated with Juno and Diana , while Luna being identified as their byname and as part of a triplet diva triformis with Diana and Proserpina , Hecate being identified as their binding manifestation as trimorphos. It came to represent the goddess Artemis or Hecate, and via the patronage of Hecate came to be used as a symbol of Byzantium , possibly influencing the development of the Ottoman flag , specifically the combination of the Turkish crescent with a star.
In Roman Catholic Marian veneration , the Virgin Mary Queen of Heaven has been depicted since the late middle ages on a crescent and adorned with stars. The contrast between the brighter highlands and the darker maria have been seen by different cultures forming abstract shapes, which are among others the Man in the Moon or the Moon Rabbit e.
In Western alchemy silver is associated with the Moon, and gold with the Sun. The perception of the Moon in modern times has been informed by telescope enabled modern astronomy and later by spaceflight enabled actual human activity at the Moon, particularly the culturally impactful lunar landings.
These new insights inspired cultural references, connecting romantic reflections about the Moon  and speculative fiction such as science-fiction dealing with the Moon. Contemporarily the Moon has been seen as a place for economic expansion into space , with missions prospecting for lunar resources. This has been accompanied with renewed public and critical reflection on humanity's cultural and legal relation to the celestial body , aspecially regarding colonialism ,  as in the poem " Whitey on the Moon ".
In this light the Moon's nature has been invoked,  particularly for lunar conservation  and as a common. A song titled "Moon Anthem" by Abhay Kumar , paralleling the proposals for an Earth Anthem , was released on the occasion of India's lunar probe Chandrayaan The lunar effect is a purported unproven correlation between specific stages of the roughly The Moon has long been associated with insanity and irrationality; the words lunacy and lunatic are derived from the Latin name for the Moon, Luna.
Philosophers Aristotle and Pliny the Elder argued that the full moon induced insanity in susceptible individuals, believing that the brain, which is mostly water, must be affected by the Moon and its power over the tides, but the Moon's gravity is too slight to affect any single person.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Earth's natural satellite. This article is about Earth's natural satellite. For moons in general, see Natural satellite. For other uses, see Moon disambiguation. The near side of the Moon north is at top.
Alternative names. Luna Selene poetic Cynthia poetic. Lunar Selenian poetic Cynthian poetic Moonly poetic. Semi-major axis. Orbital period sidereal. Orbital period synodic. Average orbital speed. Longitude of ascending node. Regressing by one revolution in Argument of perigee.
Progressing by one revolution in 8. Equatorial radius. Polar radius. Surface area. Mean density. Surface gravity. Moment of inertia factor. Escape velocity. Synodic rotation period. Sidereal rotation period. Equatorial rotation velocity. Axial tilt. North pole right ascension. North pole declination. Apparent magnitude. Angular diameter. Surface pressure. Main articles: Origin of the Moon , Giant-impact hypothesis , and Circumplanetary disk.
Play media. Oceanus Procellarum "Ocean of Storms". Ancient rift valleys — context. Ancient rift valleys — closeup artist's concept. The Moon. Near side of the Moon. Far side of the Moon. Lunar north pole. Lunar south pole. Further information: List of natural satellites. Main article: Internal structure of the Moon. Main article: Magnetic field of the Moon. Main article: Gravity of the Moon.
Main article: Atmosphere of the Moon. Main article: Geology of the Moon. Main article: Lunar water. Main articles: Topography of the Moon and List of lunar features. Main article: Volcanism on the Moon. Further information: List of craters on the Moon. Main article: Lunar swirls.
See also: Satellite system astronomy , Other moons of Earth , and Double planet. Main articles: Orbit of the Moon and Lunar theory. Main articles: Tidal force , Tidal acceleration , Tide , and Theory of tides. Main articles: Solar eclipse , Lunar eclipse , and Eclipse cycle.
Main articles: Exploration of the Moon , List of spacecraft that orbited the Moon , List of missions to the Moon , and List of lunar probes. See also: Timeline of Solar System exploration. Main article: Exploration of the Moon: Before spaceflight. See also: Space Race and Moon landing. Main articles: Luna program and Lunokhod programme. Main articles: Apollo program and Moon landing.
Earthrise Apollo 8 , , taken by William Anders. Moon rock Lunar basalt , Apollo 17 , See also: List of proposed missions to the Moon. See also: Human presence in space. Main article: Lunar habitation. See also: Moon magic. Lunar deities. See also: Moon in science fiction and List of appearances of the Moon in fiction.
An iconic image of the Man in the Moon from the first science-fiction film set in space, A Trip to the Moon , inspired by a history of literature about going to the Moon. Main article: Lunar effect. These are quasi-satellites — they are not moons as they do not orbit Earth.
For more information, see Other moons of Earth. The minimum value for a distant new moon is based on a similar scaling using the maximum Earth—Moon distance of km given in the factsheet and by calculating the brightness of the earthshine onto such a new moon. The same fact sheet gives extreme Earth—Moon distances of km and km. For the maximum angular size, the minimum distance has to be corrected for Earth's equatorial radius of 6 km, giving km.
The moon Charon is larger relative to its primary Pluto , but Pluto is now considered to be a dwarf planet. Larger planets tend to have more satellites, both large and small, than smaller planets. At present, the diameter of the Sun is increasing at a rate of about five percent per billion years. This is very similar to the rate at which the apparent angular diameter of the Moon is decreasing as it recedes from Earth. Stewart; Tompkins, Stephanie; Hawke, B. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry.
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