lunar trivia

A random collection of miscellaneous observations and entertaining factoids from a wide variety of sources. Although they are only included if they are either known to be true or else seem reasonable in the light of known facts, they cannot be guaranteed to be 100% accurate. Enjoy them, but don't rely on them in your doctoral thesis!
  1. The surface speed record on the Moon is 10.56 miles per hour. It was set in an Apollo lunar rover.
  2. Contrary to popular belief, the Moon does have an atmosphere. It is very thin. If you took all of the molecules in one cubic centimeter of atmosphere from the Moon and lined them up, they would fit inside the period of this sentence. If you took a cubic centimeter of atmosphere from the earth at sea level and lined all of the molecules up, it would go from the earth to the Moon and back again two and a half times.
  3. Astronaut Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon with his left foot.
  4. The Aitken impact basin, in the Moon's south polar region, is 2250 km in diameter and 12 km deep, making it the the largest in the solar system.
  5. When walking on the moon, astronaut Alan Sheppard hit a golf ball that went 2,400 feet, nearly one-half a mile.
  6. As of 1988, the U.S. census bureau determined that a stunning 13% of the population believe that some portion of the earth's moon is actually comprised of cheese.
  7. Flying once around the moon is the equivalent of a round trip from New York to London. (Earth is about four times the size of the moon.)
  8. The average desktop computer contains 5-10 times more computing power than was used to land a man on the moon.
  9. Just twenty seconds' worth of fuel remained when Apollo 11's lunar module landed on the moon.
  10. The volume of the Earth's moon is the same as the volume of the Pacific Ocean.
  11. The Moon has no global magnetic field.
  12. Due to its size and composition, the Moon is sometimes classified as a terrestrial 'planet' along with Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.
  13. The last man to fly in space alone was not Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper, but Apollo 17 command module pilot Ron Evans, who circled the Moon alone while astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt went to the surface.
  14. If you added up the mass of all of the thousands of known asteroids in the asteroid belt, the total would be less than ten percent of the mass of the Earth's Moon.
  15. Apollo Lunar Mission number 13, which was aborted while enroute to the moon in 1970 because of an explosion of a fuel cell in the service module, left the launch pad at 13:13 (CST) hours military time and the accident occurred on April 13.
  16. A cousin to the buckyball, a new molecular form of carbon known as the fullerene nanotube, can now be made in the lab. These single carbon molecules are so small that nanotubes sufficiently long to span the 250,000 miles between Earth and the Moon could be loosely rolled into a ball the size of a poppyseed.
  17. A quarter moon and a half moon are the same thing. The quarter refers to the fraction of the lunar month which has passed, whilst the half describes the portion of the Moon's disc which is visible.
  18. The Apollo missions returned 2196 rock samples, weighing 382kg in total.
  19. The largest crater that can be seen on the Moon is called Bailly or the 'fields of ruin.' It covers an area of about 26,000 square miles, about the size of West Virginia, and over three time the size of Wales.
  20. It is NOT TRUE that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from the Moon. It is only visible from a low Earth orbit, such as that of Skylab. From this height, many other human artefacts, cities, highways and field systems, also become visible.
  21. If the moon were placed on the surface of the continental United States, it would extend from San Francisco to Cleveland (2,600 miles)
  22. When the Apollo 12 astronauts landed on the moon, the impact caused the Moon's surface to vibrate for 55 minutes.
  23. The first spacecraft to send back pictures of the far side of the Moon was Luna 3 in October 1959. The photographs covered about 70 percent of the far side.
  24. The footprints left by the Apollo astronauts will not erode as they would on Earth since there is no wind or water on the Moon. They should last at least 10 million years.
  25. The Hubble Space Telescope can resolve features on the lunar surface down to 85 metres (280 feet) across. Its field of view is so small that it would take a mosaic of 130 images to cover the entire disc of the Moon.