The Moon Surface
The sight of the full Moon is something to behold. Depending where you are on earth when you look at the full moon there appears to be a face on it. There are two roundish soft gray eyes that look slightly downward, Between the eyes there is a nose that looks like an elongated circle. The mouth of the face is roundish and doesn’t have a very inviting expression, but the longer you look at it, the more it looks like a friendly smile. If you look long enough, you can swear that the face in the moon is winking at you!
Scientists agree that the moon is 4.527 billion years old and originated from the earth.It was formed when a large celestial body, the planet Theja, collided with the earth.. The collision
was so violent that the heat generated from it fused the two planets together and at th esame time ejected an enormous molten mass into space. This molten mass cooled and formed the moon that now revolves around earth.
The lunar surface
The above theory of how the moon was created has been confirmed by the many trips to the moon.. Rocks from the moon, called moonstones, have been examined and found to be made up of the same materials that make up the earth’s crust.
The lunar surface is, for the most part, covered with impact craters (moon craters). The craters were most likely caused by meteorites.A moon crater looks like a round bowl with a high ring around it. This is called a ring mountain. Large craters with low rings and shallow bowls are called shore or ring plains. The craters range from very ancient craters to fairly new craters and range in size from a few meters to many kilometers wide. Just on the visible side of the moon alone, there are an estimated 300,000 craters with a diameter of more than one kilometer. The number of smaller craters are much greater. The largest craters have a diameter of more than two hundred kilometers. The Atkins Basin has a size of 2000 kilometers wide and 13 kilometers deep, the largest and deepest. The oldest craters on the moon are believed to be over two billion years old.
Craters that are lined up one in front of the other are called chain craters. Sometimes these chain craters are connected by shivering. (What is Shivering?)
A rille on the Moon is a meandering streams of dozens, sometimes hundreds of kilometers long with a width of a few kilometers.A suspicion that this caused by erosive action of lava exist. The grooves usually found in a mare (plural Maria) but sometimes they are found also in the many craters on the Moon. ( I have no idea what this section is trying to say. What is a rile? The title of this section is Shiver, but there is nothing mentioned about it.)
A mare or Maan Zee are the dark spots that we can observe from Earth. About 16% of the lunar surface consists of Maria (mare is Latin for sea). The Maria is actually large volcanic plain, composed of basalt. Basalt is a rock formed by the solidification of lava. The Maria occur mainly on the side of the moon that we can observe on Earth, the ‘front’ of the moon. The explanation for this is that the ‘front’ of the Moon is located below the ‘back’ of the moon. The ‘back’ of the moon possesses once again a larger number of craters.
The name mare (Maan zeeee) is given to these dark spots because scientists believe that, at one time, they were real seas or oceans.
Water on the Moon
It has always been assumed tha the moon never had any water.. NASA, however, on 13 November 2009 announced that a satellite discovered water on the moon. When the satellite performed it’s planned crash on the moon, it raised a dust cloud which included ice crystals. This data from the satellite was transmitted to Earth and analyzed. From this alalysis, The NASA Lunar Science Institute was able to confirm that three types of water are present on the moon. They are:
water from comets, water that occurs on the lunar farside. Researchers found it in rocks collected during the Apollo missions, Until that time, researchers thought that water could not have existed on the moon. Magmatic water gives clues about the volcanic processes of the moon and how magmatic processes changed when the moon cooled.
water coming from the sun. This water would arise from actions by the solar wind which is The constant flow of charged particles (ions) that constantly bombards the moon, could have deposited water on the moon
A new study in April 2014 suggests that the amount of water on the moon is overestimated.
This was becasue of a mineral that is found on the moon in abundance, Apatite, Apatite contains a key element needed for water, Hydrogen. Becasue it is found in great amounts, it was believed that there had to be more water on the moon than what was thought. It was discovered that the hydrogen found in Apatite is not a good indicator of the amount of water that is actually found on the moon.
Volcanoes on the Moon
Are there volcanoes on the moon? since the mare (the maanzee) consists of volcanic plains, there has to be!. Currently, there are no active volcanoes on the moon The last volcanic eruption on the surface of the moon took more than a billion years ago. The iron core of the moon (as with the ground) is still be able to turned to a liquid according to researchers. This Research was led by Wim van Westrenen, Mirjam van Kan Parker, Nichiketa Rai and Elodie Tronche of the Faculty of the earth at the Free University of Amsterdam. the research also found that the magma of the moon was so heavy, it acted like an inverted volcano. The magma seeped through the surrounding bedrock down to the core, much different to what we are familiar with here on earth,
Mountains on the Moon
The mountains on the moon are the oldest part of the surface. The mountains were created by impacts of meteorites and asteroids (ring mountains). Hot lava flowed over the lower parts of the lunar surface and filled the lunar seas (maria). As the moon cooled, volcanic activity came to an end about three billion years ago. Many mountains on the moon are named after mountain ranges on earth:
– The Apennines. On the moon, the Apennines are one thousand kilometers long.
– Carpathian mountains up to 2,300 meters
– The Caucasus Jura to 6500 meters.
Fine Sand on the Moon
A thick layer of fine sand coveres the lunar surface.which is called regolith. The depth of hte regolith can vary from very shallow spots, only 10 centimeters in depth, to very deep spots measuring many meters indepth. This sandy layer is The result of numerous micro meteorites that have, over the years, turned the lunar surface into a large dusty ‘sandbox’. The absence of any earthly elements ensure that any mark on the moons surface is well preserved. For example the footsteps of Neil Armstrong, who is the first man set foot on the Moon in 1969, have remained unchanged for all this time
The face of the moon
With a little imagination and depending where you are on earth, you can see a face on the moon when it is full. From the Netherlands and Belgium you are able to see two eyes. The right eye (the dark spot) is called the sea of brightness and has a diameter of about seven hundred kilometers. The left eye is called the sea of rain. The diameter of this “eye” is even greater. As many as a thousand kilometers in diameter. Between the two eyes we find something that resembles a nose. The nose of the face is actually formed by a mountain called the Apennines. Under the nose we find the mouth. In the picture it looks an amazing round-shaped mouth. In real life sometimes resembles a friendly smiling mouth.