The most popular theory regarding lunar formation is that a Mars-sized planetoid slammed into the Earth and flung molten debris into orbit around 40 million years after the solar system was created, according to scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This is called the giant impact theory.Know More
Debris from the collision was bound together by gravity, and these ejected particles coalesced to form the moon. Initially, both the Earth and moon spun very fast on their axes, but they have since slowed down. The giant impact hypothesis explains why the moon is made of lighter elements without a heavy core. This mathematical model also explains why the moon's orbit became tidally locked with the same face towards the Earth at all times.
There are two other theories regarding how the Earth's moon formed. One is that the moon was created at the same time as the Earth because particles were coming together during the solar system's formation. If this is true, then scientists believe the moon would be much denser.
Another theory of lunar formation involves the Earth's gravity capturing a moon passing by the planet. This is how Mars got its two moons. Scientists think that if this how the moon came into Earth's orbit, the celestial body wouldn't be spherical nor would the moon line up with the Earth's ecliptic orbit.Learn More
The moon rises in an easterly direction and sets in a westerly direction, although the direction in which it rises and sets is not exact. The sun also rises in an easterly direction and sets in a westerly direction. The moon rises, on average, about 50 minutes later each day.Full Answer >
The moon accelerates or decelerates because the pull of gravity between it and the earth changes as it moves closer or farther from earth. As the moon orbits the earth, it moves closer in one half of its cycle and away in the other half. As the moon approaches the earth, mutual gravity increases its speed.Full Answer >
The moon is not yellow, but appears to look yellow when it is positioned high in the sky. For example, when the moon is low in the sky, it is being viewed through the most atmosphere and appears more red. As it moves higher into the sky, the amount of atmosphere that it is viewed through is lessened, making it look more yellow.Full Answer >
Scientifically speaking, there are three meanings for a red moon: that there is a lunar eclipse, that the moon is near the horizon and the light is passing through a larger amount of atmosphere or that particles in the air (from events like a forest fire or a volcanic eruption) are partially obscuring the light. Any of these conditions cause the light from the moon to be partially scattered, eliminating the blue and green parts of the visible light spectrum so that only red light filters through.Full Answer >