Earth’s Moon. Key Concepts What features are found on the moon’s surface? What are some characteristics of the moon? How did the moon form?. Key Terms. Telescope Craters Maria meteoroids. The Moon’s Surface.
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Earth’s Moon Key Concepts What features are found on the moon’s surface? What are some characteristics of the moon? How did the moon form?
Key Terms • Telescope • Craters • Maria • meteoroids
The Moon’s Surface • Maria – dark, flat areas; hardened rock formed from lava flows 3-4 billion years ago • Craters – large round pits caused by impacts of meteoroids (chunks of rock or dust from space) • Highlands – light colored features, mountains that cover much of the moon’s surface
9 Main Maria on Near side I'm Sure That Croaking Frogs Never Need Hair Pieces
Characteristics of the Moon • Distance from Earth – about 384,000 km • Size – 3,476 km in diameter (1/4 Earth’s diameter) • Density - 1/80 the mass of earth, Earth has dense core and less dense outer layers. Whole moon’s density is similar to • Earth’s outer layers.
Characteristics of the Moon • Temperature and Atmosphere – surface = 130C in direct sunlight, -180C at night • Reason for such is extremes is that the moon has no atmosphere • Moon’s surface gravity is so weak that gases escape into space • Water – No liquid water, but evidence of solid (ice) water at poles and in craters where areas are shielded from sunlight and remain frozen
Water on Moon • October, 2009 L-CROSS (lunar crater observation and sensing satellite) probe found significant amounts of water ice (solid water) when it was crashed into the moon’s south pole • Debris from the impact was viewed by lunar reconnaissance orbiter, LRO and other space and ground based telescopes • Chemicals in debris were analyzed by spectrometers which measures light waves absorbed by different chemicals
Origin of the Moon Collision-ring theory – Present theory that best fits the data • a planet sized object (Theia) collided with the Earth. • Materials from the object and Earth’s outer layers was ejected into orbit around Earth • Formed a ring, gravity eventually caused it to combine and form the moon