Our Moon’s History & Features - Assignment Example

Many years ago, Sir George Darwin thought that when the earth was being born and was still hot and fluid, it spun so fast that it eventually threw off a piece of itself which cooled into the moon. Another related to that one is that the Pacific Ocean is the place where the piece of rock flew off to form the moon and that’s why it’s so big and hollow. Another similar to those is that the earth spun so fast, it threw off particles of rocks which condensed into the moon which also explains how rock samples say earth and moon were formed at the same time.

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The more recent and more probable theories are that the earth heated the thick cloud of dust that surrounded it and that transformed dust cooled and condensed to form the moon. This last theory is the more probable one. It says that the moon was formed in a different part of the Solar System and that the moon’s orbit brought it close enough to the Earth to be captured by its gravity and so it became our earth’s satellite, which explains its completely different composition from the Earth’s.

The first manned spacecrafts sent to orbit the moon was made by Apollo 8. On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 reached the moon and Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. The moon has many features that make it interesting and beautiful to us. What were the markings said to be in the ancient times? The Romans and Grecian people thought they were goddesses. The Romans named theirs Diana. The Grecian named theirs Selene. American Indian tribes believed the moon and sun were brother and sister gods.

One legend told about the shapes and shadows of the moon was that it was a “man” imprisoned there for stealing. Another told of moon demons that lived there. Egyptians said it was the god Osiris. The Chinese said that the goddess Heng O lived there forever. Some people thought it was made of cheese. The Vikings thought it was a little boy and girl that were kidnapped while fetching water. The moon’s surface is divided into 3 sections. The dark patches are called plains or seas. Other places are covered with mountains and valleys.

The moons craters were formed about 3. 5-4. 5 billion years ago by meteorites that hit it. 85% is highlands and remaining 15% are plains (maria). The side of the moon we see on Earth has many dark areas; the backside of the moon is very light and has many craters and valleys. The moons statistics are: it’s 2,160 mi. (3,476 km. ) in diameter, it’s mass is 0. 0123, 238,660 mi. (384,000 km. ) away from earth, and it takes 27. 3 earth days for rotational and orbital periods. The interior of the moon is still hot.

Every year the moon has about 3,000 moonquakes. The crust is 31 mi. (60 km. ) deep in the near side and 40 mi. (65 km. ) deep in the far side. The crust is made up of several layers. The highlands have an anorthesite comp; the maria has a basaltic comp. Below the crust is a layer of denser material named lithosphere that is 90 mi. (150 km. ) deep. Under the lithosphere is a layer named asthensphere, this is the molten outer core. The center is the molten inner core that is 900 mi. (1,500 km. ) across. Moonquakes can only occur in the lithosphere.