5 Interesting Facts About The Moon
When I admire the wonders of the sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator” – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Space is full of darkness, but in that darkness, we often find pieces of beauty that are nowhere else to be found. The moon is one such piece of beauty, given to us by Mother Nature. Shining up in the night sky, no matter how bad a day you’ve had, it has a presence that is sure to bring you peace. The moon is also as mysterious as it is beautiful. Deep craters, water traces, a dark side and much more.
The space race of the 70s revealed much about the Moon and its formation, but there is still much to be known and studied about it. In fact, the impact of the space race was such that, whenever we talk about the moon, it is incomplete without the mention of the Apollo program. It was as Neil Armstrong said. ‘A giant leap for mankind.’ So here are five facts about the moon that are sure to amaze you!
5 ‘Let’s Re-Use Them, Fellas!’
August 5th, 2006, was a day that had the leading officials of NASA sweating. The online, as well as printed versions of The Sydney Morning Herald, had a disturbing headline ‘One giant blunder for mankind: how NASA lost moon pictures’. That’s when the people of the world came to know that, NASA had accidently lost the tapes that had the recording of man’s first moon walk.
And it was not limited to Apollo 11; these were among the 700 boxes of magnetic tapes that had recorded the entire Apollo program that had gone missing. NASA initially tried to cover it up by saying ‘They may be at another location within the NASA archiving system’ but this was not to be, the investigation found that the tapes were magnetically erased and reused.
This fact perplexed the experts; further investigation discovered that this was done due to the shortage of funding for NASA, which compelled them to reuse the tapes from earlier missions for the ones ongoing. However, they were restored later using other sources that recorded the telecast. So next time you give your money to buy ‘diamonds’ for a game, perhaps consider donating it to a nobler cause!
4 A Piece Of The First Aeroplane!
When the first men travelled to the moon, believe it or not, they did a lot more than just moon-walking! We know for a fact that they paid tribute to all the heroes of the space race who lost their lives in the process, including Yuri Gagarin. They collected moon rocks, sand samples and a lot more.
What the majority may not know, is that they paid tribute to the Wright brothers too! The astronauts took a piece of the wood of ‘Kitty Hawk’, the first powered and controlled flight which took off in December 1903.
The piece landed on the moon with the astronauts and now is displayed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. What an honour to the brothers and, I must say, they thoroughly deserved it.
3 A Conspiracy?! Think again
Ever since men landed on the moon, several attempts were made to prove it all a hoax. Assertions were made, both sides gave reasons, and it was left to the majority to decide for themselves. That was until 2011 when the NASA probe revealed high-resolution images of the Apollo moon landing sites.
The photos were taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and showed things such as the footprints left by the astronauts that walked the surface on the moon, the location of the flag that was placed and the tracks left by the rover which was left there by the astronauts. All in all, I’d say that’s enough proof for anyone to believe that we landed on the moon. Also, it has been known for a fact that NASA possessed the technology to land on the moon in 1969, but did not have the technology to fake the moon landings.
Let me explain one reason quickly; people who don’t believe the moon landings happened claimed the footage was filmed in slow motion on earth to give the audience effect of low gravity, meaning it would have had to be recorded with a high-speed film camera. Well, the truth is, the high-speed film cameras didn’t even exist in 1969! So, please, trust me, if not the US Government!
2 Done For The Day? Already!?
Ever wondered… What if we didn’t have the moon? How would life be different? Well, we know for sure we wouldn’t have high tides; the oceans would still experience effects from the sun, but the effects are smaller than that from the moon.
Also, we would have a lot more asteroid activity near Earth as the moon takes a lot of hits from asteroids due to its gravitational field which would otherwise come straight at us! But perhaps the most interesting idea about not having the moon would be the length of day.
We know that the rotation of the earth on its axis causes day and night. Now, if we didn’t have the moon the earth would spin much faster on its axis and, believe it or not, the days would be approximately 6 hours long! Good or bad? I’ll leave it for you to decide!
1 An Amazing Coincidence
Ever witnessed a solar eclipse? Correction, a TOTAL solar eclipse? If you have, you’d know how beautiful it is. So, now that we all know what it looks like let’s ponder a little! Are the moon and the sun the same size? No. Then how is it that the moon covers all of the Sun during a total eclipse? Intriguing, isn’t it?
It happens because of an incredible symmetry between the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun. The Sun is about 400 times bigger than the moon. And the distance between the Moon and the Sun is about 400 times the distance between the earth and the moon. So, when these conditions are met, the moon appears to be the same size to that of the sun during a total solar eclipse. Ah, mother nature!
Those were five amazing facts about the moon. To end with a fun fact, we all know the first man to step on the moon, right? But, did you know who was the first man to Pee on the moon? Any Guesses? Buzz Aldrin, the second man to step on the Moon, was the first man to pee on it! Well done, Sir!