From fairytales and storybooks to lunar modules and space exploration, our fascination with the moon begins as kids and continues well into adulthood. For National Moon Day, we’ve rounded up some scientific fun facts you can share with the kids and maybe your co-workers too! Scroll down to learn more.

Photo: Bruno Sanchez-Andrade via Flickr

1. The distance from the moon to Earth is 238,857 miles. If you drove from the moon to Earth at 65 mph it would take you 3,674 hours to get there, or 153 days if you never stopped for bathroom or snack breaks!

2. The moon was formed when a huge object hit Earth and blasted out rocks that all came together and started orbiting round Earth. They all melted together like in a big heated pot, cooled down and became the moon.

3. The moon goes round Earth every 27.3 days.

4. Our moon is the fifth largest moon in the Solar System.

Photo: jasbond007 via Flickr

5. Neil Armstrong was the very first person to walk on the moon. He stepped out of his spacecraft, the Eagle, on 21 July 1969 and said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Weird Fact: There are NO pictures of Neil Armstrong on the moon (they are all of his partner, Buzz Aldrin) except this one above, where you can just make him out in the reflection in Buzz Aldrin’s helmet.

6. Mons Huygens is the tallest mountain on the moon, it is 15,420 feet tall, just over half the height of Mt Everest (29,029 feet). But because the moon’s gravitational pull is about 83% less than on Earth, you could pretty much just float to the top. Easy!

7. The moon is very hot during the day but very cold at night. The average surface temperature is 224 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and NEGATIVE 243 degrees at night. Brrr!

8. The phases of the moon are: New Moon, Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter, Crescent…then it’s back to New Moon.

9. A lunar eclipse occurs when Earth is between the sun and the moon.

10. Earth’s tides are largely caused by the gravitational pull of the moon. You can thank the moon for boogie boarding!

Do you have any out-of-this world facts about the Moon that you can share? Tell us in the comments below! 

—Erin Feher








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