Weird Facts About the Moon

If you’re reading this, you are likely at least mildly interested in the place we live in: space. Besides what’s at the very bottom of Earth’s oceans, space is the only place us humans haven’t been able to really figure out. It’s a huge, mysterious place that only makes us ask questions and never provides us with answers. Fortunately, people smarter than you and I have figured out some of the unusual stuff that goes on in space. I’m simply going to let you in on some of the interesting and unusual stuff that goes on in space, specifically regarding the Earth’s one and only Moon.

Many people have questions about the Moon, such as why Earth even has one. The Moon is believed to actually be a part of Earth which broke off when an object the size of Mars hit it in its early formation. This makes sense as the Moon and the Earth are essentially made out of the same materials, despite the fact that they look quite different. It is actually believed that many collisions similar to this occurred during our Solar System’s formation, which is why this time is called Late Heavy Bombardment. That’s why the Moon’s surface, which is called regolith, is so powdery in texture. It’s simply what happens to a body’s surface when impacts occur over the course of billions of years.

If you look at the Moon, you’ll also notice that it is covered with various light and dark regions. I’ve heard people think that that the dark areas are merely craters’ shadows, but that is not the case. The dark areas, known as Maria, actually exist because giant meteors had often hit the Moon so hard during the Late Heavy Bombardment that they created holes that went deep down into the Moon’s molten region. Then, the dark iron which was inside the Moon seeped up to the surface to fill in the holes. The Moon has cooled off over billions of years though, so it is believed that the molten region of the Moon is no longer active.

Some conspiracy theorists think that humans have never landed on the Moon, while others may think it is made out of cheese. Although I’m not here to dispute those interesting theories, to say the least, I’m here to let you know a little more about the often forgotten “dark side of the Moon.” Habitants of Earth essentially only get to see one side of the Moon, as it rotates synchronously due to tidal locking, which is not uncommon in our Solar System. When humans finally got to see the side we’ve never seen, or the so-called “dark side,” we were surprised to find that there was barely any Maria or dark regions. Many people would think it would be the opposite and that the side away from Earth would be full of dark regions while the side we see would have more light regions, known as Highlands, as it is shielded by the Earth. That is not the case however.

Scientists have figured out that the molten region of the Moon is actually closer to the side we see than the dark side, which is due to Earth’s gravity pulling the molten region closer. Essentially that means that the side we see has a thinner crust than the dark side, which has a much thicker crust as the Moon’s molten region is closer to the side we see. That means that larger meteors would have to collide on the dark side of the Moon to create Maria, while smaller meteors would be able to damage the Moon easier on the side we see. It really is pretty interesting and unusual, as it kind of defies common logic.

Humans’ understanding of the Moon has only recently been improved with new technology and the fact that we actually landed on the Moon. The Moon’s history, or what we believe to be its history, is actually quite odd and I hope you’ve learned a thing or two more about “Earth’s little brother,” the Moon.

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