The most interesting thing about the moon
The moon is the closest satellite of humanity on our journey into outer space, as well as the only celestial body we visited. Nevertheless, despite its relative closeness to us and apparent simplicity, our companion continues to conceal many interesting secrets, and some of them are worth finding out about them.
Despite the fact that, in essence, the Moon is just a dead piece of rock with extremely low geological activity, movements of the crust also occur there. They are called moonquakes (similar to earthquakes).
There are four types of moonquakes: the first three — deep moonquakes, vibrations from meteorite impacts and thermal moonquakes caused by solar activity — are relatively safe. But the moonquakes of the fourth kind can be quite unpleasant. Usually they are up to 5.5 on the Richter scale - this is enough to start shaking small objects. Such tremors last for about ten minutes. According to NASA, such moonquakes cause our moon to "ring like a bell."
The most frightening thing about these moonquakes is that we have no idea what exactly causes them. Earthquakes on Earth are usually caused by the movement of tectonic plates, but there are simply no tectonic plates on the Moon. Some researchers think that they may have some connection with the tidal activity of the Earth, which, as it were, “pulls” the Moon towards itself. However, the theory is not supported by anything - tidal forces are associated with full moons, and moonquakes are usually observed at another time.
2. Double planet
Most people believe that the moon is a satellite. However, many argue that the moon should be classified as a planet. On the one hand, it is too large for a real satellite - its diameter is equal to a quarter of the diameter of the Earth, so the Moon can be called the largest satellite in the Solar System, given this ratio. Pluto, however, also has a satellite called Charon, whose diameter is equal to half the diameter of Pluto itself. Only here, Pluto is no longer considered a real planet, so we will not take Charon into account.
Because of its large size, the Moon is in fact not in Earth orbit.The Earth and the Moon revolve around each other and around a certain point in the center between them. This point is called the barycenter, and the illusion that the moon is in Earth orbit is caused by the fact that the center of gravity is currently inside the earth's crust. It is this fact that does not allow to classify the Earth with the Moon as a double planet, however, the situation may change in the future.
3. Moon litter
Everyone knows that the man on the moon was. But not everyone knows that Man (let us write this word with a capital letter) used the moon as a standard place for a picnic - astronauts who visited the moon left a lot of garbage there. It is believed that about 181,437 kg of artificial materials rest on the surface of the moon.
Of course, not only astronauts are to blame - they did not specifically scatter sandwich wrappers and banana peels on the moon. Most of this garbage is left over from various experiments, space probes and lunar rovers, some of which are still functioning.
4. Moon Tomb
Eugene "Gene" Shoemaker, a renowned astronomer and geologist, in his circles is someone of a kind of legend: he developed methods for the scientific study of space effects, and also invented techniques that Apollo astronauts used to study the Moon.
Shoemaker himself wanted to become an astronaut, but could not get this job due to minor health problems. This remained the greatest disappointment throughout his life, but Shoemaker, nevertheless, continued to dream that someday he would still be able to visit the Moon himself. When he died, NASA fulfilled his most cherished wish and sent his ashes to the Moon with the Lunar Prospector station in 1998. His ashes remain there, dispelled among the lunar dust.
5. Lunar anomalies
In some pictures taken by various satellites, very strange things are seen on the surface of the moon. It seems that there are artificial structures on the moon, the size of which varies from very tiny, usually parallelepiped, to obelisks at least 1.5 km high.
Fans of paranormal phenomena even "found" among these objects a large castle, "hanging" high above the surface of the moon. All this seems to indicate a developed civilization that had previously lived on the Moon and allegedly built complex structures.
NASA has never refuted these strange theories, despite the fact that all the images are most likely forged by conspiracy theories.
6. Moon dust
One of the most amazing and at the same time the most dangerous things on the moon is lunar dust. As everyone knows, sand penetrates everywhere on Earth, but the dust on the moon is an extremely dangerous substance: it is small, like flour, but it is very coarse. Thanks to its texture and low gravity, it penetrates absolutely anywhere.
NASA had numerous problems associated with moon dust: it tore the astronauts' shoes almost completely, penetrated the ships and spacesuits and caused the “moon hay fever” among unfortunate astronauts if they inhaled it. It is believed that with prolonged contact with moon dust, any, even the most durable object may break.
By the way, this devilish substance smells like burning gunpowder.
7. Difficulties with low gravity
Although gravity on the moon is only one-sixth of earth's gravity, moving along its surface is a real feat. Buzz Aldrin said that it would be extremely difficult to establish settlements on the Moon: the astronauts' legs in bulky space suits were almost 15 cm deep in lunar dust.
Despite the low gravity, the man’s inertia on the moon is high, so moving quickly or changing directions is difficult there.If the astronauts wanted to move faster, they had to pretend to be clumsy kangaroos, which was also a problem, since the moon is full of craters and other dangerous objects.
8. Origin of the Moon
Where did the moon come from? There is no simple and accurate answer, but, nevertheless, science allows us to make several assumptions.
There are five main theories about the origin of the moon. The theory of division asserts that the moon was once part of our planet and separated from it at a very early stage in the history of the earth - in fact, the moon could have been in the place of the modern Pacific Ocean. The capture theory says that the moon simply "wandered" through the universe, until it was captured by earth gravity. Other theories say that our satellite either formed from asteroid debris, or remained from the collision of Earth with an unknown planet the size of Mars.
The most credible theory of the origin of the moon at the moment is called the Theory of the Rings: a protoplanet (a planet that is just being formed) called Theia collided with Earth, and the cloud of garbage formed after that eventually came together and turned into the Moon.
9. Moon and sleep
The influence of the moon and earth on each other can not be denied. However, the influence of the moon on people is a source of constant debate. Many believe that the full moon is the cause of strange human behavior, but science cannot provide conclusive evidence for or against this theory. But science agrees that the moon can disrupt the cycle of human sleep.
According to an experiment conducted at the University of Basel in Switzerland, the phases of the moon affect human sleep cycles in a strictly defined way. Worst of all people sleep, as a rule, precisely in the full moon. These results can fully explain the so-called "lunar madness": according to the experiment and the assurances of many people, it is during the full moon that they most often have nightmares.
10. Moon Shadows
When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first set foot on the moon, they made an amazing discovery: the shadows on the moon are much darker than earthly shadows due to the lack of atmosphere. All moon shadows are absolutely black. As soon as the astronauts stepped into the shadows, they could no longer see their own legs, despite the sun disc brightly glowing in the sky.
Of course, the astronauts were able to adapt to this, but such a contrast between dark and light areas of the surface still remained a problem.Astronauts have noticed that some shadows — namely, their own — have halos. Later they learned that the terrible phenomenon is explained by the effect of the opposition, in which some dark shadow areas appear bright halo, provided that the observer looks at the shadows at a certain angle.
The shadows of the moon were the scourge of many Apollo missions. Some astronauts found it impossible to complete ship maintenance tasks because they could not see what their hands were doing. Others thought that they had accidentally landed in a cave - this effect was created because of the shadows cast by the slopes.
11. Lunar magnetism
One of the most interesting mysteries of the moon is that the moon has no magnetic field. Surprisingly, the stones, which the astronauts first brought from the moon to the earth in the 1960s, had magnetic properties. Maybe the stones have an alien origin? How can they have magnetic properties if the moon has no magnetic field?
Over the years, science has established that the moon had once had a magnetic field, but so far no one can say why it has disappeared. There are two main theories: one saysthat the magnetic field disappeared due to the natural motions of the iron core of the moon, and the second argues that this may be due to a series of collisions of the moon with meteorites.