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Some Things You Didn’t Know About The Moon

(Getty Images)

Did you see the lunar eclipse the other night? A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon and Earth’s shadow moves across the surface of the Moon. It can only happen when the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned in nearly a straight line, and it can only happen on the night of a full Moon.

A lunar eclipse is visible only on the side of the Earth that’s in darkness, so Europe, Africa and Middle East had the best view. Those areas were in darkness when the Earth’s shadow moved across the Moon and the Moon was high in the sky.

There are at least two and up to five lunar eclipses each year, and most of them are partial eclipses. Two total eclipses will happen next year.

One of the amazing things about the Moon is that is rotates around the Earth at the same speed it rotates around its own axis. So the same side of the Moon is always facing the Earth. We never see the backside.

The Moon may not be the only thing that rotates around the Earth. Scientists say there’s a 3-mile wide asteroid that’s affected by the Earth’s gravity, and it takes 770 years to complete one orbit around Earth, and it’s projected to be in that same orbit for at least 5,000 years.

Even though it’s about 1/4th the size of the Earth, the Moon is still larger than Pluto.

Every year the moon moves further away from Earth. It’s about an inch a year. When it was first formed the Moon was about 14,000 miles from Earth. Now it’s more than 235,000.

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