Moon Silhouette PNG Transparent Images

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License Info: Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC


Uploaded on on Sep 5, 2021

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The Moon is the sole natural satellite of the Earth. It is the biggest natural satellite in the Solar System compared to the size of its planet, the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System overall, and larger than any dwarf planet, with a diameter of roughly one-quarter the diameter of Earth (equivalent to the breadth of Australia). Its gravitational effect somewhat lengthens Earth’s day and is the major cause of Earth’s tides, orbiting at an average distance of 384,400 km (238,900 mi), or roughly 30 times Earth’s diameter. The Moon is a differentiated rocky body with no substantial atmosphere, hydrosphere, or magnetic field and is classed as a planetary-mass object. It has a surface gravity of roughly one-sixth that of Earth (0.1654 g); Jupiter’s Moon Io is the only satellite known to have a greater surface gravity and density in the Solar System.

The sidereal duration of the Moon’s orbit around Earth is 27.3 days. The amount of visible surface lit by the Sun changes from none to 100% during each synodic period of 29.5 days, resulting in lunar phases that serve as the foundation for lunar calendar months. The Moon is tidally locked to Earth, which means that the duration of a full rotation of the Moon on its axis causes the same side (the near side) to constantly face Earth, and the synodic period is the same as the lunar day. However, owing to perspective distortions caused by libration, Earth can see 59 percent of the whole lunar surface.

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The Moon, according to the most commonly accepted origin theory, originated around 4.51 billion years ago, not long after Earth, from the debris of a massive collision between the planet and a hypothetical Mars-sized body called Theia. Due to tidal contact with the Earth, it then receded to a broader orbit. Dark volcanic maria (“seas”) dot the near side of the Moon, filling the gaps between brilliant old crustal highlands and conspicuous impact craters. By the conclusion of the Imbrian epoch, around three billion years ago, most of the major impact basins and mare surfaces were in place. The lunar surface is non-reflective, having a reflectance that is just slightly brighter than weathered asphalt. The Full Moon, on the other hand, is the brightest celestial object in the night sky due to its huge angular diameter. Because the Moon’s apparent size is approximately identical to that of the Sun, it may be almost totally obscure the Sun during a total solar eclipse.

The prominence of the Moon in the terrestrial sky, as well as its regular cycle of phases, have served as cultural references and inspirations for human cultures throughout history. Language, calendar systems, art, and mythology are all examples of such impacts. The Soviet Union’s Luna 2 uncrewed spacecraft was the first manmade object to reach the Moon in 1959, followed by Luna 9’s first successful soft landing in 1966. The Apollo program of the United States, which landed twelve men on the Moon between 1969 and 1972, is the only human lunar expedition to date. These and subsequent unmanned flights returned lunar rocks, which were used to build a thorough geological knowledge of the Moon’s origins, internal structure, and subsequent history.

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