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Moon graphic - upper left
Moon graphic - upper rightAdventures of the Agronauts
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Mission 1
Mission 2
Mission 3
Mission 4
Mission 5
Mission 6
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The Moon

The Moon is the second brightest thing in the sky after the Sun, but it is not a star. The Moon is about ¼ the diameter of the Earth and is made of rocky material. Most lunar rocks are between 3 and 4.6 billion years old. Many scientists believe that the Moon formed when the Earth ran into a very large object (perhaps as big as the planet Mars). They think the Moon formed from the broken material. The Moon is the only natural satellite of the Earth and travels around the Earth in an orbit.

A picture of the earth with four moons lined across its diameter.

The diameter of four
Moons is equal to the
diameter of the Earth.

Entry 4: In your Agronaut log, draw a picture of the Earth and its orbital path around the Sun. Now add to the picture the Moon and its orbital path around the Earth.

The Moon is about 240,000 miles (386,000 kilometers) away from Earth. How long does it take for light to travel from the Earth to the Moon? About 1.3 seconds.

The temperature on the Moon is much colder, but strangely also much hotter than on Earth. It can get as hot as 212 °F (100 °C) and as cold as -233 °F (-147 °C)! This large temperature range happens because the Moon has no atmosphere. On Earth, our atmosphere helps to control the temperature on our planet. Since the Moon has no atmosphere to help with temperature control, it is very hot where the Sun shines on the Moon and it is very cold where the Sun does not shine! Because of the way it rotates, the moon's South Pole never gets any sunlight.

A picture of the moon on the left and the sun on the right.  The left half of the moon is labeled 'Very Cold!' and the right half of the moon is labeled, 'Very Hot!'

Man-made satellites that have orbited around the Moon have found some evidence of ice scattered in some of the deep craters near the Moon's North and South Poles. This means that there is frozen water on the Moon.



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