The Moon        


Group members: Karolina Fredriksson, Charlotte Andersson and Anders Västerberg.



Interesting facts

The surfaces

How was the Moon created?

The Mythical moon

"Perform a manned lunar landing and return"

Comparison between the Moon and Titan

The future

How could we see the Moon best




  • The moon got many names. The Romans called it Luna, the Greeks called it Selene and Artemis, and here in Sweden we call it Månen.
  • The distance from the Earth is 384 400 km.
  • The moon has several phases, such as, Full moon, New Moon, Increasing Moon, and Waning moon.
  • The 16 th of July something historical happened. Apollo 11 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center. The mission was to land on the moon.
  • The 21 st of July, Neil Armstrong said his historical words. The Eagle had landed on the moon.
  • The moons has a great importance for us humans. Both the mythical and magic moon, have had its important in the humans past.
  • The scientists don’t know for certain how the moon was created. Some of their theories are presented in this essay.
  • Titan is Saturn’s largest moon. The Moon and Titan have not so much in common.
  • At least two moon missions are planned. The lunches are set to the year 2003.


We choosed to work with the moon, because we think that the Moon is an important celestial body in the sky. We also think that we don’t know as much as we want to and we want to learn more. It has been interesting and fun to learn more about the Moon; how it was created, the Apollo11 mission and the mythical meanings. We also did a comparison between Titan and the Moon, which shovs that Titan is bigger than the Moon.

  The scientists always find new information. It takes a long time to make a book and probably the new fact in the book is old when it comes out. That’s why we used Internet so much. It is also easier to find good pictures on the web. But of course we found information in books too.

We wanted to photograph the Moon at the Stockholm observatory. But it have new owners and it was trouble with the key and to find someone who could help us. The time runs away and we still haven’t taken any photos. It has also been cloudy weather, so that’s way we haven’t any own images.   

You can find a lot of information about the Moon and write a big essay about it. We choose some parts that we are more interested in than others. That’s way we haven’t write about some parts, but we still get an essay on ten pages…i.e. you can find very much information and you have to choose what you are interested in.

We hope that you will enjoy the reading.

Interesting facts

Earth’s Moon is the nearest object to the Earth, in universe. It is the second brightest object after the sun, in the sky. That is probably why ancient people worshipped the Moon. They thought that the Moon caused sickness, menstruation and death, but it also gives fertility and ”power of life.” [1]

The Moon has a diameter of 3476 km. That is one fourth of that of Earth. The density is 3,34 g/cm 2. That is three quarters of the Earth’s and the mass is 1/81 of that of the Earth. The force of gravity is much less than that of the Earth; all objects are sex time lighter than on Earth. In some cases the Earth-Moon system can be seen as a double planet system.

     The Moon’s orbit around the Earth is an ellipse. The distance between Moon and Earth has a variation between 356,000 and 407,000 km from Earth’s centre. The average distance is 384,400 km or more than 30 Earth diameters. It takes 27.3 days for the moon to go a revolution around the Earth, which is the same as a sidereal month. A synodic month is 29.5 days and nights that is the time between two full moons. It takes longer time because of that the Earth is moving too.

    The Moon always put the same side toward the Earth and that is called synchronous rotation. It implies that the Moon, during a rotation around the Earth, makes a turn around its own axis.

    Depending on that the Moon reflects sunlight its total brightness as seen from Earth changes with the moon phases. The Moon cannot reflect more than 7% of the sunlight. When it is full moon you can see the whole sunlitted disc. When the moon is exactly between the Earth and the Sun, it turns the dark side toward us and we can not see the Moon. After 24 hours you can see the little crescent in the sunset. [2]

The surfaces

Part of the far side of the moon

Without any help or instruments, you can see dark and light territories. Galileo Galilei was the first person who observed the moon with a telescope. He discovered that the surface was not smooth, which was what man had first thought. Humans have always liked to categorise things and give name to them, so also with the Moon. They thought that the dark territories were seas and gave them names like Mare Imbrium and Mare Humorum. They thought that the light territories were continents. Nowadays we know that the seas, about 16% of the surface, are enormous impact craters that were later flooded by molten lava and covered with a decimetre tick dust. The light territories are mountains. On the surface there are many spectacular craters. The Moon has no atmosphere, which leads to that the meteorites have an enormous power when they hit the surface. That is also why the Moon has been hit by so many meteorites. On the Earth usually the atmosphere stops the stones and they burn up. About 4 000 ton of meteorid stuff hit the Moon's surface every year. [3]

How was the Moon created?


    The Moon does not have any iron nucleus. The possible explanation for this is that the Moon was pulled in by the Earth, it resulted, that the moon was to close to the earth, so it was shattered. The scientists know that the moon was a lot more closer to the earth than what it is now. That’s why the nucleus of iron was destroyed, when the moon became an orb.

    There is also a theory that says that the moon was ripped away, when an orb the size of Mars collided with the earth. This theory has also been supported by recent facts from the lunar prospector, that cost NASA $63 millions. The earth and the moon also share the same mineral composition, so they have the same common orgin.

    Quotation: “This is a critical finding in helping scientists determine how the earth and moon formed” [4] (Dr. Alan Binder, the lunar research Institute, Tucson, Arizona. The head investigator of the lunar prospector.) [5]       

The Mythical Moon

    In astrology, the moon is the opposite pole to the sun. The sun stands for the humans identity, and spirit. The moon stands for the humans soul, and the subconscious of the humans.

     The moon is absorbing light from the sun, so you could say that the moon is associated with feelings and susceptibility. The sun has always been connected with the day and the daylight. Although the moon is connected with the night, and all the scary that the night can bring with it.

    It is important that the moon and the sun is in balance, if they aren’t, it means trouble. If the sun is stronger than the sun, it means that you could have troubles to co-operate, and you could be to egoistic. If it is the other way, if the moon is stronger than the sun, it means that you have great possibilities to achieve something in your life, but you will not have the energy, or the joy in your life. That’s why it is so important that the moon and the sun is in balance.

                      A little handbook, in what the moon stands for in Astrology

Keywords: Fertility, silver, soul and susceptibility

Gods: Cerces, Diana, Demeter and also in the old Norse you could find Måne that is the sister to Sol.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

The human body: The female body, female organs and the stomach.

Profession: Sailors, fishermen and professions that involves children

In the magic world:

    We have worshiped and feared the moon for ages, and we also used it when we were going to predict, or if something bad was going to happen. As everyone know, the full moon can call upon the werewolves and vampires. Also the women believed that they could be fertilized, when it was full moon. Of course the witches used the moon, in different rituals.

New moon: The new moon symbolizes the reborn of the human being. The magicians says that you should use the new moon, to gather power and inspiration. You should NOT exercise magical rituals.  

Increasing moon: Your power is increasing. If you want to plant herbs, or get pregnant, you should do it under the increasing moon.

Full moon: Your dreams is more intensive, and your energy is strong. Your power is as big as they could get by the full moon. Also this is the time when the vampires are coming, and the werewolves. So beware!

Waning moon: If you want to get rid of something, you should do it now, when the moon is waning. If you want to loose some weight you should do it now, when your energy is low.

Lunar eclipse: This is the time when the infernal and psychological powers are large. You should meditate and discover yourself. [6]

Perform a manned lunar landing and return.”

Apollo 11 liftoff [Apollo 11 Logo] The 16 th of July, 1969, something historical happened, that mankind always will remember. That day, EDT 09:32, or 13:32 UT, Apollo 11 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, pad 39A. The sky was as clear as a piece of glass, and the wind was only 5 m/s, as a matter of fact, the perfect weather a space crew could wish.

    The space crew of Apollo 11 was:

Þ     Neil Armstrong, Commander

Þ     Buzz Aldrin, Lunar Module Pilot

Þ     Michael Collins, Command Module Pilot

Every mission have a back up crew if something would happen to someone in the ordinary crew:

Þ     James A. Lovell, Commander

Þ     William A. Anders, Command Module Pilot

Þ     Fred W. Haise, Lunar Module Pilot

[Crew of Apollo 11] But the backup crew had to stay home. Jim Lovell and Fred Haise didn't have to wait to long  for Apollo 13, but everyone knows that Apollo 13, had troubles getting home, because of a tank that exploded.

    After a very successful flight, without any sort of complications, the Lunar Module, (Eagle) landed on the moon on the 20th of July, 1969. The landing spot was Mare Tranquilitatis. They choose Mare Tranquilitatis because of the smooth and large area. The lunar module landed safe, 6 km from landing site, and it was Neil Armstrong that manually landed it.

    Armstrong reported instant after the “Eagle” was landed. He said “Houston, Tranquillity Base here - the Eagle has landed”, now the world could only wait, until Neil Armstrong stepped out on the Moons surface, and the excitement was enormous, back on earth

     The first man that walked out from the “Eagle” was Neil Armstrong. He walked out at the surface 02:56:15 UT (10:56:15 p.m EDT) the 21 th of July. And as many of us know, Neil Armstrong told the world the magical words as follos; “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, and Buzz Aldrin walked out 19 minutes later.

     The astronauts walked around on the moon and did some scientific experiments. Such as taking photographs, and deploying the EASEP. They collected 21.7 kg of lunar rock and soil. This was the first time, that we got samples from another planetary body. The samples were basalts, dark- colored igneous rocks. All of the samples was around 3.7 millions years old.

    Also the astronauts placed a plaque on the moon, signed by President Nixon, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Aldrin. The plaque bears a map of the earth and the following inscription;

          “Here men from the planet earth first set foot upon the moon July 1969 A.D. Plaque image Splashdown - recovery of astronauts   We came in peace for all mankind. ”

    When the lunar module was on the moon, the command and service module with it's pilot, Michael Collins, continued it's orbit around the moon.

    Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong stayed at the surface of the moon for about 21 hours. The lunar module docked safely with the command and service module, and they started there long way back to Earth.

    Apollo 11 “splashed” in the Pacific Ocean on the 24 th of July 1969, and the recovery ship was USS Hornet.

    This space flight, went enormously well. The astronauts did their mission and returned back home safe. It was a space flight that never had been done before, and no one could tell if the three astronauts would return home. The scientists  and astronomers, had counted and prepared for this flight for years. Now the mission was done, and no one could understand the fact, that human beings had sat their foot on the surface of the moon. The Apollo 11 mission paved a way for following missions.

    As you all know there is no wind on the moon. That means that the astronaut’s footprints will be there on the surface of the moon, for millions of years after this event.

Facts about Apollo 11

Þ     Apollo 11 had the Command and Service module “Columbia” and of course the Lunar Module “Eagle”

Þ     Apollo 11 launched from Kennedy Space Center on the 16 th of July, 1969.

Þ     Apollo 11 landed on the moon on the 20 th of July, 1969

Þ     21.7 kilograms of moon rocks was collected and brought back to Earth.

Þ     The astronauts stayed at the moon for 21 hours, 38 minutes and 21 seconds

Þ     The retrieval ship was U.S.S. Hornet [7]

Comparison between the Moon and Saturn’s moon, Titan

The Earth has only one moon, called the Moon. Saturn has over twenty moons and Titan is Saturn’s largest moon. It is also the second largest in the solar system after Jupiter’s Ganymede. Titan is famous in the “astroworld”. It is the only moon, as far as we know, with an atmosphere.  The dense atmosphere consists of nitrogen and methane. The atmosphere makes that Titan looks bigger in a telescope, than it really is. That’s way man first thought that Titan was the biggest moon in the solar system. It were images from Voyager 1 that exposed the atmosphere. [8]

We have got some interesting facts about the moons, which is easy to compare with each other. 

  The Moon   Titan
Mass (kg) 7.349X10 22 kg 1.35X10 23 kg
Mass (Earth=1)  1.2298X10 -02 2.2590X10 -02
Equatorial radius 1737.4 km 2575 km
Mean density  3.34 gm/cm 3 1.88 gm/cm 3
Mean distance from their planet 384 400 km 1 221 850 km
Orbital period 27.32166 days 15.94542 days
Mean surface temp. 

107 o C (day)

-153 o C (night)

-178 o C


  Comments : As you can see they don’t have so much in common. Titan is both bigger and its distance from its planet is also bigger. We only found one surface temperature to Titan; it’s probably because it is so far away from the sun that the sun beams do not have any influence to it.  Titan also have a higher orbital velocity than the Moon. Its orbital period is shorter than the Moon’s, but it has a longer orbit, because it is far away from Saturn.

The Future        
Lunar-A and SMART-1

What about the research of the moon in the future? At least two moon missions are planed; Lunar-A and SMART-1


The lunch for Lunar-A was scheduled for 24 August 1999. But because of a penetrator failed in a test, it must be redesigned and the lunch is now planed to 2003.

    The scientific objectives of the mission are still the same. Some of them is to image the surface, to monitor moonquakes and study the lunar core and interior structure.

    The spacecraft will carry a mapping camera and two surface pentrators to achieve the objectives.

   To learn more about the structure of the Moon’s interior and the size of the core the penetrators are equipped with seismometers and devices to measure heat flow. The seismometers will watch over the moonquake activity over the course of a year. With this information man hope to learn more about structure and the size of the core. The result of the heat flow measurements will hopefully give information about thermal state and the Moon’s evolution. [10]

SMART-1 artist’s impression

SMART-1 , “Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology”.

SMART-1 is what man can call a ”guinea pig”. It will test new technology. It is also The European Space Agency’s (ESA:s) first trip to the moon. Sweden and eight other countries from Europe and USA are involved in the mission. The lunch will take place in the early 2003.

    The spacecraft is equipped with the new Solar Electric Propulsion Technology. It is a solar powered thruster that is 10 times more efficient than standard chemical systems that is common as power in many spacecrafts.  

    The spacecraft will do a “two in one mission”. First it will cruse to the moon and test the technology and this will take 15-17 months. Then it will slide into the Moon orbit and the second trip starts. On this trip the spacecraft will map and studying the Moon in great detail. For the first time ever, the spacecraft will explore the darker regions of the Moon’s south pole. It will also take a closer look to “Peak of Eternal Light”, which is a lunar mountain, that always bath in sunlight and is surrounded by craters never touched by light. Maybe the craters consist of ice.

    If the technology works out in a good way it will probably be used in longer missions in the future. [11]




How could you see the moon best?

“How could you see the moon best? A suggestion from Charlotte and Karolina to those who want to look at the moon.”

This is our experience of how you can see the moon, or any other object on the sky. These suggestions that we share with us, regards only Stockholm, Sweden.

First of all as you all know, the sky have to be clear. If there is some thin clouds, that will affect the observation of the moon. It’s the best if the night sky is clear.

  You have to be high over/outside the city. That is because of the lights from the city will otherwise disturbe the observation. So you should be high up, on maybe a hill and also it should be a rather dark place. You get less atmosphere overhead if you are closer to the sky. 

If you want to see the moon, it is a very good advice if the moon is up on the sky. Also as you know, the moon has faces. That means that if you want to see the full moon, you have to chose the right day or days in the month. Now if you want to see a new moon or the increasing moon, you should watch the moon rather early to the day(s) of the new moon in the month.

You could watch moon through binoculars. That’s a very good tip for those who don’t cant afford a more advanced telescope. Of course it is best to use a telescope.

Furthermore you have to consider two things; if it is a refracting telescope or a telescope it doesn’t matter. You have to think of the magnification. That is, the bigger image you got, the better. Look at the formula below:

Magnification = f ob /f ok

Also the resolution is something that you have to think of:

Resolution= q =1,22* l / D,

where l is the wavelength and D is the apperture of the telescope.

  When you have done all this you, we have another suggestions for you that you should think of:

1.       You have to wear warm clothes; here in Sweden the nights are cold.

2.       Bring chocolate, sandwiches and of course sweats. You often get hungry, when you are out to observe the moon/stars.

3.       Also have friends with you, and be happy!

Karolina Fredriksson, Charlotte Andersson, Anders Västerberg.


Internet addresses

-   (NE 020926)                 (1)

-                                      (2)

-                                                              (3)

-                                                               (4)

-   (5)

-                                             (6)

-                                                                 (7)

-                                                             (8)

-                      (9)

-                                                                                (10)

-                                                                                   (11)

-                                                                               (12 )

-          http://www.-spoff.gsfc.nasa.goc                                                                              (13)

-          http://www.antwrp.gsfc.nasa.goc                                                                            (14)

CD –Rom

- FOCUS 2000 © Norstedts


-          “Abell’s Exploration of the universe” 7:th edition, Morrison, Wolff, Fraknoi , 1995

-          ”Först på månen”, Ulf Nilsson , 1969

-          ”Universums historia – Big bang och efteråt”, Trinh Xuan Thuan , 1994

-          ”Astronomisk kalender 2002”, Per Ahlin , 2002

-          ”Norstedts Plus, svensk ordbok+uppslagsbok, 1997

We would also like to thank Kjell Bonander, one of the astronomy teachers in our school .

The images are taken from the Internet, most of them from NASA’s and ESA’s homepages and from the addresses above. .


[2] FOCUS, 1 and 2

[3] FOCUS, 2

[5] ”Universums Historia” 11

[6] ”Universums Historia”

[7] ”Först på Månen”

”Universums Historia”


[8] 7 and FOCUS

[9] 3 and 7

[11] 8 and 9