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moon coloring pages for kids

The Moon (Latin: Luna) is what people generally say when talking about Earths moon. The moon can be seen from Earth. The moon is actually very large, about a quarter the size of the world, but because it is far away it looks very small. The gravity on the moon is one-sixth of the Earths gravity. It means that you will be 6 times lighter on the moon than on Earth. The moon is a rocky and dusty place.

Phases

The Moon is lit up by the sun as it goes around (Orbits) the Earth. This means sometimes we can see the whole moon and other times only bits of it. This is because the moon gives out no light. We can only see the parts that are reflecting light from the Sun. These different stages are called Lunar Phases. It takes the Moon about 29.53 days (29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes) to complete the cycle, from big and bright to small and dim and back to big and bright. People used the moon to measure time and present day months are approximately equal in time to a lunar cycle.

The phases of the Moon

Because the moon is tidally locked (always faces the same way) towards Earth there is a half of the moon we can never see. This is called the dark side of the moon even though the sun does shine on it.

History of exploring the Moon

Buzz Aldrin standing on the moon in 1969

The moon has fascinated people since there were people to see it. People often dreamed of standing on the moon and looking at Earth.

Before people stood on the Moon, some of the big countries in the world, the United States and Russia (which used to be part of the USSR) sent robots to the moon. These robots would fly around, crawl, or in the case of Luna 2, crash into the moon. The robots were the first things that humans made that touched the Moon.

Humans finally landed on the Moon in 1969. On July 20th of that year, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, landed their space probe (the Eagle) on the surface of the moon. Then, as half the world watched him on television, Armstrong climbed down the ladder of the Eagle and was the first to touch the Moon. Later, Buzz Aldrin hops out of the Eagle, and together, they put the American flag near the spot where they landed. They explored around collecting rocks for about an hour before leaving.

More people landed on the moon between 1969 and 1972, when the last spaceship, Apollo 17 visited. Eugene Cernan of Apollo 17 was the last person to touch the moon since 2008.

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