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The Moon

The Moon

Naming convention
Craters: famous scientists, scholars, artists and explorers

Lacus, Maria, Paludes, Sinus: Latin terms describing weather and other abstract concepts

Montes: Terrestrial mountain ranges or nearby craters

Valles: Name of nearby features

ESA Missions

ESA's SMART-1 successfully tested miniaturisation technology while exploring the Moon from orbit. It is the only space probe ESA has sent to the Moon to date. The mission concluded in September 2006. It was the first of ESA's missions to test advanced technology needed for future scientific planetary missions.

Physical Properties

Property Unit


Earth = 1
Equatorial radius km 1738.1 0.2725
Polar radius km 1736.0 0.2731
Flattening 0.0012 0.36
Mass (x1024) kg 0.07349 0.0123
Volume (x1010) km3 2.1958 0.0203
Mean density kgm-3 3350 0.607
Surface gravity ms-2 1.62 0.165
Escape velocity kms-1 2.38 0.213

Orbital Parameters

Property Unit Value
Perigee  (x106) km 0.3633
Apogee  (x106) km 0.4055
Mean distance from Earth  (x106) km 0.3844
Eccentricity 0.0549
Sidereal orbit period d 27.322
Full Moon to full Moon d 29.53
Sidereal rotation period d 27.322
Inclination to ecliptic ° 5.145
Inclination to Earth's equator ° 18.28 - 28.58
Mean orbital velocity kms-1 1.023
Max. orbital velocity kms-1 1.076
Min. orbital velocity kms-1 0.964
Recession rate from Earth cm year-1 3.8
Axial tilt ° 6.68

Last Update: 1 September 2019
18-May-2024 20:08 UT

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