The Book of the Moon
Home Contents Reviews & Essays Links About Me Contact
Facts and Figures

There's a vast amount of data on the moon. Facts and Figures will help you understand the moon was formed, what has happened to it over the last five billion years since its creation and what might happen to it in the future.

Some Basic Moon Facts
Distance from Earth 225,745 miles
Distance from Earth (Light Years) 1.5 light seconds
Length of Lunar Day 27.3 earth days
Radius 1080 miles
Diameter 2,160 miles
Weight 81 quintillion tons
Surface Temp. (Day) 134C
Surface Temp. (Night) -154C
Gravity on surface 0.1667g (1/6 of earth's)
Orbital Speed 22,887 mph
Driving time by car @ 70 mph 135 days
Flying time by rocket 60 - 70 hours
Walking time @ 3 mph 8.6 years
No. of men who have
walked on the moon
Age of oldest collected rock 4+ billion years
Weight of rocks collected
by Apollo missions
842 pounds
Widest Crater 140 miles in diameter
Deepest Craters 15,000+ feet
Highest Mountains 16,000+ feet
Albedo (the extent to which
an object can reflect light)
Today the moon is a cold dark place but it has not always been like that. Five billion years ago the moon was formed when an object about the size of Mars collided with the Earth generating colossal heat and shattering the surface of both planets. The resulting debris spun off into Earth orbit and eventually fused to form the moon. For hundreds of millions of years the moon's surface was molten. Slowly it cooled and for two billion years solar debris bombarded its surface. Objects, sometimes as big as New York, slammed into the moon's surface at speeds of up to 45,000 mph, rocks vaporised and the surface temperature soared to over 10,000 degrees centigrade, hotter than the sun. The cratered and scarred face is evidence of its violent early life.

The Book of the Moon details the theories of the moon's creation and describes its craters and mountains, its gravity and atmosphere, the lunar seas and what happens deep within the moon's crust.
The Moon
The Moon as seen from Earth
The book uses diagrams and charts to explain the moon's relationship with the Earth, how it affects the tides, why its shape changes in the night sky and how we might exploit the moon's mineral resources.

The Book also describes some of the stranger things about the moon. For example, the moon is moving away from the earth and is causing the earth's rotation to slow down. One day in the far future the moon and the Earth will have ceased to rotate relative to each other, the moon will be much further away and an earth day will be a month long. Another oddity is that one NASA scientist has argued that the moon is hollow. Carl Sagan stated in his 'Intelligent Life in the Universe' that "a natural satellite cannot be hollow". Is the moon therefore an extra terrestrial craft put in place billions of years ago by intelligent beings?

Using words, charts and pictures the chapter provides a fascinating insight into what we know, think and hope about the moon.
Book Contents
1. Astronauts, cosmonauts and lunar exploration

2. Astronomers and mapping

3. Facts and figures

4. Gardening and the weather

5. Gods and myths

6. Magic, the occult, astrology, alchemy, prophecy, fortune telling, spells and superstition

7. Medicine, madness, werewolves and science

8. Miscellany. Fascinating facts about the moon in our life and culture
Click below to order your copy of The Book of the Moon. The book was released on the 7th of May 2009 in the UK and on the 23rd of June in the US:
Buy from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon US
Previous Back to top Next
© Rick Stroud | moon photography by Michael Eleftheriades | Privacy Policy