The Moon has fascinated mankind ever since. 50 years ago, on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 mission started its journey to the moon and landed successfully on July 20 – one important step for the exploration of Moon’s mysteries.
1. Earth and Moon Compared
The most obvious difference between the Moon and Earth is the size: Earth is about 4 times as big as the Moon (with respect to its diameter). Picture 2 compares some properties of both. In the black picture below, size and distance of both are shown to scale. They also differ in gravity: the weight of a body on Earth is only one-sixth on the Moon.
2. Moon’s Unknown Sides
In some ways, Moon is very similar to Earth, like in the composition of lunar rock (read more about what Moon rock tells us here). Less is known about the composition of the Moon’s interior. And did you know that we only get to see one side of the Moon from Earth?
3. A Walk on the Moon
A flight to the Moon takes about three days. 50 years ago, Neil Armstrong was the first man to leave footprints on the Moon. But Apollo 11 was not the only crewed mission, and research on the Moon continued. Still, there are many open questions to be answered up there …
- Forward to the Moon, ESA Infographics, 2019, http://esamultimedia.esa.int/docs/HRE/Moon_Media_Kit_v2.pdf
- Moon Fact Sheet, NASA, 2017, https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/moonfact.html
- Our Solar System, DLR Brochure, 2017, http://solarsystem.dlr.de/RPIF/Produkte/broschuere/brochure_Solarsystem_2013_en_web.pdf
Also of Interest
- Interview: On the Moon, We Can Look into the Past
- Quiz: To the Moon
- The Moon, web documentary on lunar exploration, ESA, https://lunarexploration.esa.int/intro