The Moon:

Project No.075

Teacher: Marinescu-Voicu Oita

Chiriazi Laura

Crucica Ana-Maria

Parviz Yasmeen


     Scoala Nr.82

Motto:   "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Neil Armstrong

The Moon


     The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite.
    In Greek mythology Selene is the moon goddess. Her parents are the Titan Hyperion, the sun god, and Theia, the sister of Helios. The brother of Selene is Helius, who is the sun god too like his father.
Selene is represented as a young woman with an extremely white face who travels on a silver chariot drawn by two horses. She is often shown riding a horse or a bull. Selene is said to wear robes, carry a torch, and wear a half moon on her head. After her brother Helios completes his journey across the sky, she begins hers. Before Selene's journey across the night sky she bathes in the sea. In Roman mythology name of the moon goddess is Luna. The Moon is a favourite of many poets and SF writers.


    I ask my self:
   - How the Moon looks from different places from the Earth globe? My father who is from Pakistan told me that the Moon looks from there like in Romania, also my aunt told me that the Moon looks in America like in Romania. That means that the Moon looks same from everywhere. Why? After we studied about the Moon, for this project, I learned that the Moon shows to the Earth always the same side because it completes one orbit around the Earth (orbital period) in the same time it completes one turn on its axis (rotational period), 27.32166 days. This "synchronous rotation" is the result of a force named gravity, which keep the Moon in rotation around the Earth. The gravity is like an invisible wire that fastens the two astronomical bodies.
   - Why the shape of the Moon is in continuous changing? Sometime when I look in the night sky I see the Moon in different shapes: new Moon, half Moon and full Moon. Why? Our teacher explained us that the Moon rounds the Earth and we see only some part from the Moon spotlighted by the sun.

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   - How big is the Moon? Why the full Moon sometime is big and sometime is little? When I been, with my team, at the Astronomical Observatory I asked the astronomer and he answered me that the path of the Moon around the Earth is not a circle, it is oval and sometime the Moon is near the Earth (the lunar perigee) and sometime is far the Earth (its apogee). The Moon is about 384,000 km from Earth on average. At its closest approach the Moon is 356,410 km from the Earth. At its farthest approach the Moon is 406,700 km from the Earth.
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   After Pluto's moon, Charon, the Moon is the second largest natural satellite relative to the parent planet in the Solar System. Earth is only about four times wider than its moon. Compared to huge planets like Jupiter and Saturn, which are 40 or 50 times larger than their biggest moons, Earth and its Moon could almost be considered twin planets.
The Moon's diameter is 3,476 km, 27% of the diameter of the Earth (a bit over a quarter of the Earth's diameter).
The Earth's mass is about 81 time bigger the Moon's mass (7.35 x 10 22 kg). Because the Moon is smaller than Earth its gravitational force is six times smaller than Earth's. For example, me who I am a 27 kg person would weigh only 4.5 kg on the Moon.

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    After I read "Little prince" by Antoine De Saint Exubery, I thought if the Moon has his prince.
    Now I found that on the Moon life don't exist because it has no atmosphere, no water and temperature on the Moon ranges from daytime highs of about 130C to nighttime lows of about -110C. Because the Moon has no atmosphere to block the harmful rays, on its surface is intense radiation from the Sun.
     When I will go on the Moon I would need a spacesuit to protect me against the harmful rays, to keep me a proper temperature and also I would have to carry my own air.
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    Because the Moon has no atmosphere, the sky is black, even during the day. From the hemisphere that faces Earth, the "blue planet" appears almost four times wider than the full Moon appears in Earth's sky. Earth stand in almost the same position in the sky, never rising or setting.

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    I was curious how the Moon was formed? On the Internet I read four theories:
  1. formation by fission from the Earth. Moon was hurled from the Earth when the this was young and rotating rapidly on its axis;
  2. formation in orbit near the Earth. The Earth and Moon, and all other bodies of the solar system, condensed independently out of the huge cloud of cold gases and solid particles that constituted the primordial solar nebula. Much of this material finally collected at the centre to form the Sun;
  3. formation far from Earth. The Moon is supposed to have formed at a different place in the solar system, far from Earth and it passed near to Earth it was pulled into permanent orbit about the Earth;
  4. planetesimal impact. Early in the Earths history, well over 4 billion years ago, a large body called a planetesimal, about the size of Mars, struck the Earth. The catastrophic impact blasted portions of the Earth and the planetesimal into Earth orbit, where debris from the impact eventually coalesced to form the Moon.

The last theory is the most widely accepted one for the moons forming.

    At the Astronomical Observatory I looked through the telescope and to the Moon and I saw many holes on the Moon surface (named craters).

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Those craters are caused by asteroids, comets, and meteorites impact. There is no atmosphere on the Moon to help protect it from bombardment from potential impactors (most objects from space burn up in our atmosphere). Also, there is no erosion (wind or precipitation) so they remain unchanged until another new impact changes it.
I saw the Copernicus crater which is many times larger than Bucharest, Romania's capital. Also I saw, near the crater, the Carpatus Mountains. I was astonished because here in Romania is the mountain chain Carpatus. On the Moon is the Spiru Haret crater, named in honour of a Romanian scientist.

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Click to enlarge
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The Experiment:

We researched into how the surface of Moon may have become cratered. For that we used a thin layer of cacao powder over a thick layer of flour. We threw different balls with different speeds.
The images below show how we performed our experiment:

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We observed there is a lot of material thrown from the holes at impact surrounding its. Same like the craters on the Moon.
Mean Distance from Earth 384000 km
Diameter 3476 km
Orbital period 27.32166 Earth days
Rotational period 27.32166 Earth days
Mass 7.35 x 10 22 kg
Mean surface temperature (day) 130C
Mean surface temperature (night) -110C


Art gallery

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At the Astronomical Observatory
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Moon and Copernicus crater
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We have enjoyed our study of Moon but, as with most studies, there are still many questions to answer.

  • Is water on the Moon?
  • How old is the Moon?
  • When the people will live on the Moon?
  • How were it formed?

Now after we study the Moon, we love it and we hope that we will by the scientist who will answer to these questions or the astronauts who will explore it.






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