Hawai'i Space Grant Consortium, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, 1996

Moon ABCs
Fact Sheet

Page 1

Property Earth Moon Brain Busters
Equatorial diameter 12,756 km 3,476 km How long would it take to drive around the Moon's equator at 80 km per hour?
Surface area 510 million square km 37.8 million square km The Moon's surface area is similar to that of one of Earth's continents. Which one?
Mass 5.98 x 10E24 kg 7.35 x 10E22 kg What percentage of Earth's mass is the Moon's mass?
Volume ?? ?? Can you calculate the volumes of Earth and the Moon?
Density 5.52 grams per cubic cm 3.34 grams per cubic cm Check this by calculating the density from the mass and volume.
Surface gravity 9.8 m/sec/sec 1.63 m/sec/sec What fraction of Earth's gravity is the Moon's gravity?
Crust Silicate rocks. Continents dominated by granites. Ocean crust dominated by basalt. Silicate rocks. Highlands dominated by feldspar-rich rocks and maria by basalt. What portion of each body is crust?
Mantle Silicate rocks dominated by minerals containing iron and magnesium. Similar to Earth. Collect some silicate rocks and determine the density. Is the density greater or lesser than the Earth/Moon's density? Why?







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Hawai'i Space Grant College, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, 1996

Moon ABCs
Fact Sheet

Page 2

Property Earth Moon Brain Busters
Core Iron, nickel metal Same, but core is much smaller. What portion of each body is core?
Sediment or Regolith Silicon and oxygen bound in minerals that contain water, plus organic materials. Silicon and oxygen bound in minerals, glass produced by meteorite impacts, small amounts of gases (e.g., hydrogen) implanted by the solar wind. No water or organic materials. Do you think life ever existed on the Moon? Why or why not?
Atmosphere (main constituents) 78 % nitrogen,
21 % oxygen
Basically none. Some carbon gases, but very little of them. Pressure is about one-trillionth of Earth's atmospheric pressure. Could you breathe the lunar atmosphere?
Length of day (sidereal rotation period) 23.93 hours 27.3 Earth days How long does daylight last on the Moon?
Temperature Air temperature ranges from -88C (winter in polar regions) to 58C (summer in tropical regions). Surface temperature ranges from -193C (night in polar regions) to 111C (day in equatorial regions). Why are the temperatures of Earth and the Moon so different?
Surface features 25 percent land (seven continents) with varied terrain of mountains, plains, river valleys. Ocean floor characterized by mountains, plains, and trenches. 84 percent heavily-cratered highlands. 16 percent basalt-covered maria. Numerous impact craters - some with bright rays, crater chains, and rilles. Compare maps of Earth and the Moon. Is there any evidence that plate tectonics operated on the Moon?

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