The light spots on the moon are called lunar highlands. The darker areas of the moon are called maria, and they are lower in altitude than the lighter spots. The highlands lie several kilometers above the maria.
The highlands consist of rocks with high aluminum content; therefore, the highlands are lighter in color and less dense than the maria. Because the moon always shows the same face to the Earth, scientists focused on this side and saw that it contained a relatively equal distribution of maria and highlands. When the far side of the moon was explored, scientists found that the far side consisted mainly of highlands.Learn More
The moon gets its light from the sun, the same source as Earth and other planets. The location of the moon along its orbit affects the amount of light it receives from the sun, leading to the different phases of the moon.Full Answer >
Earth's sole natural satellite, the moon, has a circumference of 6,783.5 miles around its equator. Its surface area is 14,647,439.75 square miles, which is approximately 0.07 times that of the Earth.Full Answer >
Most people know that the moon's gravitational influence has an effect on the tides on Earth, but some scientists also believe that the presence of the moon played an important role in making Earth habitable to begin with. The interplay between the Earth and the moon mirrors events that occurred throughout the early solar system, as a Mars-sized object may have hit the Earth, sending some of the mantle into orbit that soon cooled into the moon. Over time, the relationship between the Earth and the moon may well have assisted the advent of life.Full Answer >
The scientific consensus is that the Earth's moon formed four and half billion years ago. About 100 million years after the formation of the solar system, another small planet is likely to have collided with the Earth, resulting in the formation of the Moon.Full Answer >