Advertisement

There’s a graveyard on the moon

There’s a graveyard on the moon
Shutterstock

Most of the 181,437 kilograms of garbage on the moon is space junk and ephemera crash-landed or left behind by the 12 astronauts who have visited since 1969: abandoned satellites, spent rockets, cameras, backpacks, and golf balls. But here’s one of the more morbid moon facts: Among the detritus on the moon are the ashes of Eugene Shoemaker, one of the founders of the field of planetary science, sent skyward by NASA in a polycarbonate capsule.

 

“Lunatics” can blame the moon

“Lunatics” can blame the moon
Shutterstock

One of the moon facts from the Middle Ages is that scientists and philosophers believed that a full moon caused seizures and influenced episodes of fever and rheumatism. Because of the connection between the moon and unusual behaviour, the afflicted were called lunatics, or, literally, “moon sick.”

The moon is disappearing

The moon is disappearing
Shutterstock

Each year, the moon’s orbit moves about four centimetres away from the Earth, meaning that in a mere 500 million years, the moon will be 23,496 kilometres farther away than it is right now.

There are fresh footprints on the moon’s surface

There are fresh footprints on the moon’s surface
Shutterstock

Man hasn’t set foot on the moon in more than four decades, and yet, fresh prints remain. Is this evidence of an alien life form? Is Bigfoot taking up extra-planetary residence? Nah, they’re just leftover astronaut footprints. Because there’s no wind or water on the moon, tracks can last millions of years.

A full moon might keep you awake

A full moon might keep you awake
Shutterstock

In a small study from the University of Basel in Switzerland, subjects monitored closest to a full moon experienced less deep sleep, produced less melatonin, and took five minutes longer to fall asleep that those monitored during other times of the month. Sleep researcher Marie Dumont, who wasn’t involved in the study, suggests that the full moon could indirectly affect the internal body clock by increasing volunteers’ exposure to light in the evening.

Check out 7 ways a full moon can mess with your emotions.

The truth about the blood moon

The truth about the blood moon
Shutterstock

As many people witnessed in late September 2015, the moon really can turn an eerie shade of red under the right conditions. But despite werewolf warnings and apocalypse alerts, scientists define the so-called “blood” moon as a purely astronomical event when the earth casts a rust-coloured shadow on the moon’s surface.

Advertisement

Shadows are darker on the moon than on Earth

Shadows are darker on the moon than on Earth
Shutterstock

Astronauts on the moon immediately noticed that their shadows were much darker there than on Earth. The atmosphere that scatters light to create shadows on Earth is absent on the moon. The sun and the Earth itself provide a little bit of light, enough for shadows to still appear, but the shadows are much harder to see.

Next, check out these explanations of 20 surreal natural phenomena.

The moon experiences earthquakes (or moonquakes)

The moon experiences earthquakes (or moonquakes)
Shutterstock

Just like the Earth, the moon has a crust that shifts and changes. Moonquakes can occur when the lunar crust warms and expands, or they can be triggered by meteorite impacts. While moonquakes don’t reach the same level of intensity as earthquakes, they can last much longer, because the moon has no water to combat seismic vibrations.

The moon has a time zone all its own

The moon has a time zone all its own
Shutterstock

It’s called “Lunar Standard Time,” but it doesn’t correspond simply with a time on Earth. Time is quite different on the moon than on Earth; a year on the moon is divided into twelve “days,” each about as long as an Earth month. Each “day” is named after a different astronaut who has walked on the moon. The “days” are divided into 30 “cycles,” which are then divided into hours, minutes, and seconds. Oh, and the calendar started the moment Neil Armstrong walked on the moon: Year 1, day 1, cycle 1 began at July 21st, 1969 at 02:56:15 Universal Time.

Here are 14 crazy facts about earth you never learned in school.

The moon experiences a huge range of temperatures

The moon experiences a huge range of temperatures
Shutterstock

You probably think of Earth as located in the habitable, moderate zone of our solar system. Planets closer to the sun are far hotter, while the planets farther away experience frigid temperatures. But the moon experiences some pretty intense temperatures, on both ends of the spectrum, considering how close it is to our life-friendly planet. During the day, temperatures can be as high as 93.33 degrees Celsius. By the moon’s poles, though, the temperature stays around minus 204 degrees Celsius. This disparity is thanks to the moon’s lack of an atmosphere.

Now that you know these fascinating moon facts, read about the most amazing space discoveries of the last decade.

Sign up here to get Reader’s Digest’s favourite stories straight to your in-box!

Source: rd.com

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us: