7 Facts About the Moon You Probably Didn’t Know

Facts About the Moon

Eugene Cernan standing on the surface of the moon on December 13, 1972. [Image by NASA]

Fun Facts About the Moon!

1.) A one-way trip to the moon is the same distance as 49 round-trips between New York City and Los Angeles — about 238,900 miles (or, 384,400 kilometers).

2.) Five of the six American flags that astronauts left on the moon are still standing. The one that fell over was the first one — that was planted during the first visit. The only reason it fell over was because Buzz Aldrin planted it too close to the Apollo 11 module, which knocked the flag over with its propulsion gasses when they ascended to go home.

3.) All of the American flags on the Moon aren’t really red, white, and blue anymore. They’ve not only faded — they have been completely sun-bleached white because the Moon does not have any sun-protecting atmosphere.

4.) In the 1700’s, “lunacy” was considered a legal defense for obtaining a lighter sentence in England’s murder cases — if the crime was committed during a full moon. The term “lunacy” refers to the ancient myth that there is a connection between moon cycles and mania.

5.) The “Dark Side of the Moon” is a popular album by Pink Floyd. However, the moon does not have a dark side. It only has a side that never faces the Earth. The “far side of the moon” receives as much sunlight as the “near side.”

6.) If you could stand on the Moon’s surface and drop a hammer and a feather at the same time, they will land on the Moon’s ground at the same time. That is because there is no air on the Moon to slow the feather’s fall (aerodynamic drag). This was proven by astronaut David R. Scott during the Apollo 15 Moon mission.

7.) There is an international “space law” that declares the Moon open for exploration by any country for peaceful purposes only. This means that the moon can not be used by any country for testing weapons, or the installment of any kind of military bases. This lunar law is part of the “Outer Space Treaty” which became effective in 1967. The treaty was originally signed by three countries — the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union. By 2013, 102 countries became part of the treaty as well.