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  • Gloria Hoffner

Moon facts - Get Ready for July 20th!

•How old is the Moon? Answer: The Moon is about 4.5 billion years old. Scientists theorize the moon was formed when a large asteroid stuck the Earth. The impact causes material from the Earth to fly into space and this material formed into the Moon.

•How large is the moon? The moon is about a quarter of the size of the Earth. If placed on our planet, the diameter of the moon would be less than the width of the US and Canada.

•How far is the moon? Answer: The Moon is about 252,000 miles from Earth. That is about the width of four Earths. The distance changes slightly due to the elliptical path of the moon as it orbits the Earth.

•How did the Moon form? Answer: There are three theories. One, that the Moon formed at the same time as the Earth. Two, the Moon formed away from Earth and was pulled into Earth’s orbit by Earth’s gravity. Three, and the most popular theory, that a collision of an asteroid and the Earth resulted in material from Earth being thrown into space and this material formed into the Moon.

•How long was the trip of Apollo 11 to the Moon? Answer: Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1965. It took three days, three hours and 49 minutes to reach the Moon. Astronauts landed on the Moon on July 20, 1965. The total trip was 8 days, 3 hours and 18 minutes.

•Is there any life on the Moon? Answer: NASA has found no signs of life on the Moon. There is only a small amount of frozen water on the Moon and the temperature ranges from -300 degrees F in the shade to 232 F in the sun.

•Why do we only see one side of the Moon from Earth? Answer: The Moon rotates on its axis at the same rate as it orbits the Earth thus, we always see the same side of the Moon.

Experiment - Why does the moon shine at night?

•Materials: Dark room, flashlight, and a bike reflector.

•Process: In a lighted room show residents the bike reflector. Next, turn off the lights, make the room totally dark, and ask if the residents can see the bike reflector. Then turn the flashlight onto the bike reflector and ask residents if they can see the bike reflector.

•Result: The bike reflector represents the Moon and the flashlight represents the sun. The Moon shines as a result of reflected sunlight.

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