The moon is humanity’s closest planetary companion. Still, despite how near and dear to our hearts the moon is, there are a number of things about the moon you probably don’t know. To be fair, most people aren’t the most familiar with the moon’s irregularities and oddities, but today we’ll shed some light on that.
Man first landed on moon in 1969. That was nearly 50 years ago. Since then, much research has been done on the moon and many of its secrets have been revealed. So, without further ado, here are the 10 weird secrets of the moon you probably didn’t know.
10. The Moon Doesn’t Revolve around the Earth
Well, that’s a surprise, but the fact of the matter is that the moon doesn’t revolve around the Earth. Instead it moves along with the Earth as the Earth revolves around the Sun. So, the sun mainly decides the moon’s position.
Experts believe that the main reason we think that the moon orbits around the Earth is because it seems to do so from our perspective. We see the moon as opposite the Earth at one moment – which is known as the full moon. At other times, we see it cast a shadow on the Earth. The main point is that the moon doesn’t revolve around the Earth the same way as the Earth revolves around the Sun. On further examination, you will see that the moon’s path is actually around the sun and not the Earth.
9. Moon Trash
Everyone knows that man has visited the moon, but not everyone knows that the place has been used as a picnic area. Astronauts who have visited the moon left a surprising amount of trash on the surface with the passage of time. According to an estimate, there is about 181,437 Kilograms of man-made material around the moon.
However, you shouldn’t be much concerned because it isn’t like the astronauts did it on purpose and threw banana peels and wrappers everywhere. Most of the garbage is the waste material from different experiments and lunar rovers. However, there is also some real trash, like human waste material.
8. The Moon Is a Burial Ground
Now, this is one of the weirdest secrets of the moon because you don’t expect such a place to be used as a graveyard. But it’s not like every other astronaut or astronomer is buried on the moon. However, there was one incident regarding Eugene Shoemaker, a famous astrologist and geologist, who was a legend in his field. He is mainly known for inventing the techniques which Apollo astronauts used to research the moon.
Shoemaker desperately wanted to be an astronaut, but he was rejected due to a minor issue. However, he still he didn’t lose hope. He worked harder and harder towards the hope that one day he would fly to the moon. On his death, NASA fulfilled his wish and sent his ashes to the moon. His ashes lay now, scattered on the moon.
7. There are Moon Trees on Earth
This is another strange secret of the moon. Hundreds of seeds were brought to the moon at the time of the 1971 Apollo 14 mission. These seeds were carried to the moon in a special NASA project by Former U.S. Forest Service Smoke Jumper, Stuart Roosa.
When he returned to the Earth, he took the seedlings and germinated them all over the United States as part of the nation’s bicentennial celebration in 1976. NASA’s Dave Williams has been tracking these trees and he recently found some in a Girl’s scout camp.
6. Moon Dust
One of the many dangers of the moon is the lunar dust. Everyone knows that sand is present pretty much everywhere on Earth, but on moon, it is quite hazardous. The moon’s dust is as fine as floor, but still quite rough. Due to the texture and low gravity of moon, it can cling almost everywhere.
NASA has encountered many problems due to moon dust. For example, it gets trapped in the shoes of the astronauts and causes much difficulty in moving. It has also traveled inside their spacesuits and caused medical issues for the astronauts. Experts think that prolonged exposure to moon dust causes massive issues for the space suits.
5. Helium-3 as a Potential Energy Source
The sun’s solar wind is charged and it collides with the moon. It can be absorbed by the rocks on the moon’s surface. One of the most important gases absorbed by the moon’s rocks is the gas helium-3. Helium-3 fuses easily and can be harnessed in a nuclear reactor for generating energy.
Experts believe that about hundred tons of the helium-3 can satisfy Earth’s energy demands for a year. The moon contains about 5 million tons of helium-3 whereas the Earth only contains 15 tons. One revenue generating idea of NASA is to go to the moon, release the helium-3 in a mine, store the gas in a tank and bring the valuable resource back to Earth. However, this is a costly endeavor and it might not happen anytime in near future.
4. It Might Have Been Inhabited
Some photos from the moon’s surface show things which even NASA can’t explain. Some people believe that this is clear proof that the moon might have been inhabited once. There are some photos where it’s hard to tell what is going on. This brings up the question of whether an advanced race lived on the moon prior to human beings? Perhaps we may never know the answer to this.
In Hindu Mythology, there are various stories of people living on the moon. Seeing the many unexplainable things on the moon, it might not be outrageous to suggest that it was once inhabited.
3. The Five Moon Origin Theories
This is one of the most interesting secrets of the moon because most people don’t really know the exact origins of the moon. The truth is that nobody really knows the answer. However, there are a few educated guesses. There are five main theories of the origin of moon. The Fission theory states that the moon used to be part of our planet which was separated from the very start. Some other theories say that the moon was either the result of the Earth’s collision with a Mar’s sized plant or it was condensed from many planets.
The most likely accepted theory currently is the Giant Mass Theory. According to this theory, a protoplanet (a planet which is forming) collided with the moon and the remains resulted in the formation of moon.
2. Shadows are Darker on Moon
When astronauts first visited the moon, they noticed that their shadows were darker than usual. This caused many problems for them.
The main reason behind this is that the dark shadows make it hard for astronauts to see what they are doing. It’s hard to find new things when the shadow is so dense. It’s also hard to avoid stepping into a crater when the shadow is blocking your vision.
1. The Moon Affects Sleep Patterns
This certainly deserves to be at the top of all the secrets regarding the moon because it directly affects you each day. Many experts believe that the moon brings strange behaviors in people, although there is no solid proof of it. Have you ever heard of lunacy or a person being a lunatic? The origin of the root wood “luna” hearkens back to the moon. However, one thing can be confirmed, which is that the moon disturbs our sleep cycle.
A volunteer based experiment in the University of Basel in Switzerland showed that the different phases of moon disturb regular sleep patterns. It is theorized that the worst night sleep is during a full moon. This could very well explain the full moon madness that people behave strangely during full moon.
These are some of the top secrets of moon is holding from us. Seeing these secrets, doesn’t it make you want to learn a bit more about the moon? It is quite important to know these fascinating tidbits about the moon because one of the ways to know yourself is to know about your surroundings. So let’s hope that the scientists research the moon more deeply and we continue to know more and more of these amazing secrets about the moon.