The moon rises in the eastern sky and sets in the western sky because of Earth's rotation. Its rising and setting positions vary throughout the year from northeast/northwest to due east/west to southeast/southwest.Know More
Earth rotates counter-clockwise on its axis. Because of this motion, celestial bodies such as the sun, moon and stars appear to rise in the eastern sky and set in the western sky. In addition, Earth is tilted on its axis by 23.5 degrees. Because of this, the sun's rise and set positions vary by up to 23.5 degrees north or south of due east or west throughout the course of a year. The moon's pattern is close to that of the sun's. It orbits Earth on a plane that is only about 5.1 degrees off the path of the sun. This causes the position of the moonrise and set to vary up to 28.6 degrees north or south.
The moon orbits completely around Earth in 28.5 days. This causes the moon to move through its range of variation much quicker than the sun appears to, creating a noticeable position change against the horizon each night. The moon doesn't rise at the same time each night. Due to the speed of Earth's rotation and the moon's orbit, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day. Interestingly, all these changes in relative position to the sun make the moon appear to go through its waxing and waning phases.Learn more about Our Moon
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 >
No concrete evidence explains why there is a moon. The best hypothesis presented is the Giant Impactor hypothesis: It suggests that around 4.45 billion years ago, while the Earth was still forming, a large object hit the Earth at an angle.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 >