Fast Facts on the Moon Size Orbit Gravity Craters and More

About the moon, fast facts including size, orbit, gravity, craters and more.


The moon, which whirls around the earth, is the earth's closest space neighbor, and the only other solar body on which human beings have walked.

The moon is only 1/4 the size of the earth.

The moon's gravity is only 1/6 of that on earth. This made the U.S. astronauts, during their moon walks, 5/6 lighter than they were on earth. A person who weighed 180 lbs. on earth would weigh only 30 lbs. on the moon. Because of this weak gravity pull, champion running high jumper Dwight Stones, who leaped 7'6 5/8" on earth (at Munich, West Germany, 1973) would have leaped 45'3 3/4" had he been on the moon.

Since the moon's gravity is too weak to capture and hold atmosphere, there is no weather at all on the moon--in fact, no wind, no sound, no life.

During a lunar day, the heat on the surface of the moon gets as hot as boiling water. But with the coming of lunar night, the temperature drops to 260deg.F. below zero.

It takes about 27.3 days for the moon to orbit the earth once.

No more than 59% of the moon is visible to earthlings.

From the earth, 32,000 major craters have been seen on the moon. One of the largest visible craters, Clavius, is 146 mi. in diameter. The meteorite that struck the moon and gouged out Clavius is believed to have weighed 200 billion tons.

Of all the soil brought back from the moon's surface by U.S. astronauts, the oldest proved to be around 4,600 million years of age.

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