The moon

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 September, 2010, 12:00am

In everyday life

The moon is older than civilisation. The different phases of the moon have importance for many cultures across the world. People use the different phases of the moon in everyday life. Some farmers plant crops by the moon. Astrologers place much importance on the placing of the moon in the birth chart.

Although the moon and the sun are different sizes, during an eclipse the moon seems to be the same size as the sun. This is because of the sun is much further away from the earth than the moon.

Full moon

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the best known festivals celebrating the full moon. This festival is also known as the Moon Festival, or in Putonghua, Zhongqiujie. It is a 3,000-year-old harvest festival with much tradition and history attached to it. Delicious mooncakes are eaten when families gather to celebrate.

Old moon

It is thought that the moon is 4.5 billion years old. Scientists are still learning facts about the moon. The spacecraft that have landed there have brought back more than 380kg of moon rock.

We see the same side of the moon every night. But it does turn around, or rotate, like the earth does, while it is circling the earth.

New moon

There are many traditions to do with the moon. Muslims wait for the new moon to break their fast during Ramadan. They look for the new moon which begins the festival of Eid al-Fitr. That took place on September 9 this year.

Blue moon

A blue moon is the name given to the second full moon that appears in one month. This very seldom happens. The saying 'It happens once in a blue moon' means something does not happen very often.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (on Nasa's Apollo 11 mission, which also included Michael Collins) were the first people to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969. Neil Armstrong left his footprint behind. His first words on the moon were 'a small step for man, but a giant step for mankind'.

Hot moon - cold moon

We see the moon at night, so we think it is cold. We know the sun is hot because we can feel its heat in the daytime. Amazingly, the moon reaches temperatures of about 130?C during the day. At night it can drop to about -230?C. This is a very big temperature change.

Moon walking

Michael Jackson made moon walking famous. It was developed long before Michael was born though.

Cab Calloway first used it in 1932. David Bowie used it in 1974 on his Diamond Dogs Tour. Michael saw David do the moon walk on the tour and was fascinated by it. Michael saw Jeffrey Daniel use it in 1982. He decided to ask Jeffrey to teach him to moon walk. The rest is history.

Now do this

1 How old is the moon?

a. More than 4 million years old

b. More than 2 billion years old

c. More than 4 billion years old

2 Who left his footprint on the moon?

a. Buzz Aldrin

b. Neil Armstrong

c. Michael Collins

3 Who taught Michael Jackson to do the moon walk?

a. Jeffrey Daniel

b. David Bowie

c. Cab Calloway