In honor of the full lunar eclipse which will occur tonight (Feb. 20th), here's some moon trivia: (TT image courtesy of samulli)
1. The dark spots on the moon that create the benevolent "man in the moon" image are actually basins filled 3 to 8 kilometers deep with basalt, a dense mineral, which causes immense gravitation variations. And here I was, thinking they were just holes!
2. In China, the dark shadows forming a face is seen as "the toad in the moon," not the “man in the moon." The toad is considered one of the five poisons of yin. It is believed that eclipses occur when the “toad in the moon” tries to swallow the moon itself.
3. The temperature on the Moon reaches 243° F at midday on the lunar equator. During the night, the temperature falls to -261° F.
4. The first U.S. flag on the moon was deployed by Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin on July 20, 1969. And we all got to stay up late to watch it, didn't we?
5. The footprints left by the Apollo astronauts will not erode since there is no wind or water on the Moon. The footprints should last at least 10 million years. Wouldn't it be even longer?!
6. Astronaut Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon with his left foot.
7. When walking on the moon, astronaut Alan Sheppard hit a golf ball that went 2,400 feet, nearly one-half a mile. Hmmm, didn't Tiger just do that in Dubai?
8. 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.) And, with the price of fuel, that trip probably costs the same, too!!
9. Just twenty seconds' worth of fuel remained when Apollo 11's lunar module landed on the moon. Cutting it a bit close, I'd say!
10. Baskin-Robbins introduced the flavor "Lunar Cheesecake" to commemorate America's landing on the moon on July 20, 1969. It featured lunar green cheesecake ice cream with an Apollo 11 Marshmallow ribbon. Yum?
11. 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 artifacts, cities, highways and field systems, also become visible.
12. Light from the Moon takes about a second and a half to reach Earth.
13. The gold-plated 33-rpm record "Camelot" was left behind on the moon by the Apollo astronauts. Hmmm....wonder what it'll be played on?!
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