Muin Muin seembol
Full muin as seen frae Yird's Northren Hemisphere
Orbital chairactereestics
Perigee362600 km
(356400370400 km)
Apogee405400 km
(404000406700 km)
384399 km  (0.00257 AU)[1]
27.321661 d
(27 d 7 h 43 min 11.5 s[1])
29.530589 d
(29 d 12 h 44 min 2.9 s)
1.022 km/s
Inclination5.145° tae the ecliptic[2][lower-alpha 1]
Regressin bi ane revolution in 18.61 years
Progressin bi ane revolution in 8.85 years
Satellite oYird[lower-alpha 2][3]
Pheesical chairacteristics
Mean radius
1737.1 km  (0.273 o Yird's)[1][4][5]
Equatorial radius
1738.1 km  (0.273 o Yird's)[4]
Polar radius
1736.0 km  (0.273 o Yird's)[4]
Circumference10921 km  (equatorial)
3.793×107 km2  (0.074 o Yird's)
Vollum2.1958×1010 km3  (0.020 o Yird's)[4]
Mass7.342×1022 kg  (0.012300 o Yird's)[1][4]
Mean density
3.344 [1][4]
0.606 × Yird
1.62   (0.1654 g)[4]
2.38 km/s
27.321661 d  (synchronous)
Equatorial rotation velocity
4.627 m/s
Surface temp.minmeanmax
Equator100 K220 K390 K
85°N 150 K230 K[8]
Angular diameter
29.3 tae 34.1 arcmeenits[4][lower-alpha 4]
Surface pressur
Composeetion bi vollum

The Muin is an astronomical bouk that orbits planet Yird, bein Yird's anerly permanent naitural satellite. It is the fift-lairgest naitural satellite in the Solar Seestem, an the lairgest amang planetar satellites relative tae the size o the planet that it orbits (its primar). Follaein Jupiter's satellite Io, the Muin is seicond-densest satellite amang thae whase densities are kent.

The Muin is thocht tae hae formed aboot 4.51 billion years ago, nae lang efter Yird. The maist widely acceptit explanation is that the Muin formed frae the debris left ower efter a giant impact atween Yird an a Maurs-sized bouk cried Theia.

The Muin is in synchronous rotation wi Yird, ayeweys shawin the same face, wi its near side merked bi daurk volcanic maria that fill the spaces atween the bricht auncient crustal hielands an the prominent impact craters. As seen frae the Yird, it is the seicont-brichtest regularly veesible celestial object in Yird's sky, efter the Sun. Its surface is actually daurk, awtho compared tae the nicht sky it appears verra bricht, wi a reflectance juist slichtly heicher nor that o worn asphalt. Its gravitational influence produces the ocean tides, bouk tides, an the slicht lenthenin o the day.

The Muin's current orbital distance is 384,400 km (238,900 mi),[10][11] or 1.28 licht-seiconts. This is aboot thirty times the diameter o Yird, wi its apparent size in the sky awmaist the same as that o the Sun, resultin in the Muin coverin the Sun nearly precisely in tot solar eclipse. This matchin o apparent veesual size will nae conteena in the faur futur, acause the Muin's distance frae Yird is slawly increasin.

The Soviet Union's Luna programme wis the first tae reach the Muin wi uncrewed spacecraft in 1959; the Unitit States' NASA Apollo program achieved the anerly crewed missions tae date, beginnin wi the first crewed lunar orbitin mission bi Apollo 8 in 1968, an sax crewed lunar laundins atween 1969 an 1972, wi the first bein Apollo 11. Thir missions returned lunar rocks that hae been uised tae develop a geological unnerstaundin o the Muin's oreegin, internal structur, an later history. Syne the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, the Muin haes been veesitit anerly bi uncrewed spacecraft.

Athin human cultur, baith the Muin's naitural prominence in the yirdly sky, an its regular cycle o phases as seen frae the Yird hae providit cultural references an influences for human societies an culturs syne time immemorial. Sic cultural influences can be foond in leid, lunar based calendar seestems, airt, an meethologie.

Pheesical chairactereestics

Internal structur

Structur o the Muin
Chemical composeetion o the lunar surface regolith (derived frae crustal rocks)[12]
Compoond Formula Composeetion (wt %)
Maria Hielands
seelicae SiO2 45.4% 45.5%
alumina Al2O3 14.9% 24.0%
lime CaO 11.8% 15.9%
airn(II) oxide FeO 14.1% 5.9%
magnesia MgO 9.2% 7.5%
titanium dioxide TiO2 3.9% 0.6%
sodium oxide Na2O 0.6% 0.6%
Tot 99.9% 100.0%

The Muin is a differentiatit bouk: it haes a geochemically distinct crust, mantle, an core. The Muin haes a solit airn-rich inner core wi a radius o 240 km (150 mi) an a fluid ooter core primarily made o liquid iron wi a radius o aboot 300 km (190 mi). Aroond the core is a pairtially mowten boondary layer wi a radius o aboot 500 km (310 mi).[13][14] This structur is thocht tae hae developed throu the fractional creestallisation o a global magma ocean shortly efter the Muin's formation 4.5 billion years ago.[15] Creestallisation o this magma ocean wad hae creautit a mafic mantle frae the precipitation an sinkin o the minerals olivine, clinopyroxene, an orthopyroxene; efter aboot three-quarters o the magma ocean haed creestallised, lawer-density plagioclase meenerals coud form an fleet intae a crust atap.[16] The feenal liquids tae crystallise wad hae been ineetially sandwiched atween the crust an mantle, wi a heich abundance o incompatible an heat-producin elements.[1] Conseestent wi this perspective, geochemical mappin made frae orbit suggests the crust o maistly anorthosite.[9] The Muin rock samples o the fluid lavas that erupted ontae the surface frae pairtial meltin in the mantle confirm the mafic mantle composeetion, that is mair airn rich nor that o Yird.[1] The crust is on average aboot 50 km (31 mi) thick.[1]

The Muin is the seicont-densest satellite in the Solar Seestem, efter Io.[17] Houiver, the inner core o the Muin is smaw, wi a radius o aboot 350 km (220 mi) or less,[1] aroond 20% o the radius o the Muin. Its composeetion is nae well defined, but is probably metallic airn alloyed wi a smaw amoont o sulfur an nickel; analyses o the Muin's time-variable rotation suggest that it is at least pairtly mowten.[18]

Surface geology

Topografie o the Moon meisurt frae the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter on the mission Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, referenced tae a sphere o radius 1737.4 km
Topografie o the Muin

The topografie o the Muin haes been meisurt wi laser altimetry an stereo eemage analysis.[19] Its maist veesible topografic featur is the giant far-side Sooth Pole–Aitken basin, some 2,240 km (1,390 mi) in diameter, the lairgest crater on the Muin an the seicont-lairgest confirmed impact crater in the Solar Seestem.[20][21] At 13 km (8.1 mi) deep, its fluir is the lawest pynt on the surface o the Muin.[20][22] The heichest elevations o the Muin's surface are locatit directly tae the northeast, an it haes been suggestit micht hae been thickened bi the oblique formation impact o the Sooth Pole–Aitken basin.[23] Ither lairge impact basins, sic as Imbrium, Serenitatis, Crisium, Smythii, an Orientale, an aa possess regionally law elevations an elevatit rims.[20] The faur side o the lunar surface is on average aboot 1.9 km (1.2 mi) heicher nor that o the near side.[1]

The discovery o faut scarp cliffs bi the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter suggest that the Muin haes scrinkit athin the past billion years, bi aboot 90 metres (300 ft).[24] Seemilar scrinkage featurs exist on Mercur.

Volcanic featurs

Lunar nearside wi major maria an craters labeled
Lunar nearside wi major maria an craters labeled

The daurk an relatively featurless lunar plains, clearly seen wi the nakit ee, are cried maria (Latiin for "seas"; seengular mare), as thay war ance believed tae be filled wi watter;[25] thay are nou kent tae be vast solitifee'd puils o auncient basaltic lava. Awtho seemilar tae terrestrial basalts, lunar basalts hae mair airn an no minerals altered bi watter.[26][27] The majority o thir lavas eruptit or flawed intae the depressions associatit wi impact basins. Several geologic provinces conteenin shield volcanoes an volcanic domes are foond within the near side "maria".[28]

Evidence of young lunar volcanism

Awmaist aw maria are on the near side o the Muin, an civer 31% o the surface o the near side,[29] compared wi 2% o the faur side.[30] This is thocht tae be due tae a concentration o heat-producin elements unner the crust on the near side, seen on geochemical maps obteened bi Lunar Prospector's gamma-ray spectrometer, that wad hae caused the unnerleein mantle tae heat up, pairtially melt, rise tae the surface an erupt.[16][31][32] Maist o the Muin's mare basalts eruptit in the Imbrian period, 3.0–3.5 billion years aby, awtho some radiometrically datit samples are as auld as 4.2 billion years.[33] Till recently, the youngest eruptions, datit bi crater coontin, appeared tae hae been anly 1.2 billion years aby.[34] In 2006, a study o Ina, a tottie depression in Lacus Felicitatis, foond jagged, relatively dust-free featurs that, due tae the lack o erosion bi infawin debris, appeared tae be anly 2 million years auld.[35] Muinquakes an releases o gas an aa indicate some continued lunar acteevity.[35] In 2014 NASA annoonced "widespread evidence o young lunar volcanism" at 70 irregular mare patches identifee'd bi the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, some less nor 50 million years auld. This raises the possibeelity o a muckle wairmer lunar mantle nor previously believed, at least on the near side whaur the deep crust is substantially waurmer due tae the greater concentration o radioactive elements.[36][37][38][39] Juist prior tae this, evidence haes been presentit for 2–10 million years younger basaltic volcanism inside Lowell crater,[40][41] Orientale basin, locatit in the transeetion zone atween the near an faur sides o the Muin. An ineetially hetter mantle and/or local enrichment o heat-producin elements in the mantle coud be responsible for prolanged acteevities an aa on the faur side in the Orientale basin.[42][43]

The lichter-coloured regions o the Muin are cried terrae, or mair commonly highlands, acause thay are heicher nor maist maria. Thay hae been radiometrically datit tae haein formed 4.4 billion years aby, an mey represent plagioclase cumulates o the lunar magma ocean.[33][34] In contrast tae Yird, na major lunar moontains are believed tae hae formed as a result o tectonic events.[44]

The concentration o maria on the Near Side likely reflects the substantially thicker crust o the helands o the Faur Side, that mey hae formed in a slaw-velocity impact o a seicont muin o Yird a few tens o millions o years efter thair formation.[45][46]

Impact craters

A gray, mony-ridged surface frae heich abuin. The lairgest featur is a circular rainged structur wi heich wawed sides an a lawer central peak: the entire surface oot tae the horizon is filled wi seemilar structurs that are smawer an owerlappin.
Lunar crater Daedalus on the Muin's faur side

The ither major geologic process that haes affectit the Muin's surface is impact craterin,[47] wi craters formed whan asteroids an comets collide wi the lunar surface. Thare are estimatit tae be aboot 300,000 craters wider nor 1 km (0.6 mi) on the Muin's near side alane.[48] The lunar geologic timescale is based on the maist prominent impact events, includin Nectaris, Imbrium, an Orientale, structurs chairacterised bi multiple raings o upliftit material, atween hunders an thoosands o kilometres in diameter an associatit wi a braid apron o ejecta deposits that form a regional stratigraphic horizon.[49] The lack o an atmosphere, wather an recent geological processes mean that mony o thir craters are well-preserved. Awtho anly a few multi-raing basins hae been definitively datit, thay are uisefu for assignin relative ages. Acause impact craters accumulate at a nearly constant rate, coontin the nummer o craters per unit aurie can be uised tae estimate the age o the surface.[49] The radiometric ages o impact-meltit rocks collectit in the Apollo missions cluster atween 3.8 an 4.1 billion years auld: this haes been uised tae propone a Late Heavy Bombardment o impacts.[50]

Blanketit on tap o the Muin's crust is a heichly comminutit (breuken intae ever smawer particles) an impact gairdened surface layer cried regolith, formed bi impact processes. The finer regolith, the lunar sile o seelicon dioxide gless, haes a textur resemblin snaw an a scent resemblin spent gunpouder.[51] The regolith o aulder surfaces is generally thicker than for younger surfaces: it varies in thickness frae 10–20 km (6.2–12.4 mi) in the hielands an 3–5 km (1.9–3.1 mi) in the maria.[52] Beneath the finely comminuted regolith layer is the megaregolith, a layer o heichly fractured bedrock mony kilometres thick.[53]

Comparison o heich-resolution eemages obteened bi the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter haes shawn a contemporary crater-production rate signeeficantly heicher nor previously estimatit. A seicontar craterin process caused bi distal ejecta is thocht tae churn the tap twa centimetres o regolith a hunder times mair quickly nor previous models suggestit–on a timescale o 81,000 years.[54][55]

Lunar swirls at Reiner Gamma

Lunar swirls

Lunar swirls are enigmatic featurs foond across the Muin's surface, which are chairacterised bi a heich albedo, appearin optically immatur (i.e. the optical chairactereestics o a relatively young regolith), an eften displayin a sinuous shape. Thair curvilinear shape is eften accentuated bi law albedo regions that wind atween the bricht swirls.

Presence o watter

Liquid watter canna persist on the lunar surface. Whan exposed tae solar radiation, watter quickly decompones throu a process kent as photodissociation an is lost tae space. Houiver, syne the 1960s, scientists hae hypothesized that watter ice mey be depositit bi impactin comets or possibly produced bi the reaction o oxygen-rich lunar rocks, an hydrogen frae solar wind, leavin traces o watter that coud possibly survive in cauld, permanently shaidaed craters at aither pole on the Muin.[56][57] Computer simulations suggest that up tae 14,000 km2 (5,400 sq mi) o the surface mey be in permanent shaidae.[58] The presence o uisable quantities o watter on the Muin is an important factor in renderin lunar habitation as a cost-effective plan; the alternative o transportin watter frae Yird wad be prohibitively expensive.[59]

In years syne, seegnaturs o watter hae been foond tae exeest on the lunar surface.[60] In 1994, the bistatic radar experiment locatit on the Clementine spacecraft, indicatit the existence o smaw, frozen pockets o watter close tae the surface. Houiver, later radar observations bi Arecibo, suggest thir findings mey rather be rocks ejectit frae young impact craters.[61] In 1998, the neutron spectrometer on the Lunar Prospector spacecraft shawed that heich concentrations o hydrogen are present in the first meter o deepth in the regolith near the polar regions.[62] Volcanic lava beads, brocht back tae Yird abuird Apollo 15, shawed smaw amounts o watter in thair interior.[63]

The 2008 Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft haes syne confirmed the existence o surface watter ice, uisin the on-buird Moon Mineralogy Mapper. The spectrometer observed absorption lines common tae hydroxyl, in reflected sunlicht, providin evidence o lairge quantities o watter ice, on the lunar surface. The spacecraft shawed that concentrations mey possibly be as heich as 1,000  ppm.[64] In 2009, LCROSS sent a 2,300 kg (5,100 lb) impactor intae a permanently shaidaed polar crater, an detectit at least 100 kg (220 lb) o watter in a plume o ejectit material.[65][66] Anither examination o the LCROSS data shawed the amoont o detectit watter tae be closer tae 155 ± 12 kg (342 ± 26 lb).[67]

In Mey 2011, 615–1410 ppm watter in melt inclusions in lunar saumple 74220 wis reportit,[68] the famous heich-titanium "orange gless sile" o volcanic oreegin collectit during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. The inclusions war formed in explosive eruptions on the Muin approximately 3.7 billion years aby. This concentration is comparable wi that o magma in Yird's upper mantle. Awtho o considerable selenological interest, this announcement affords little comfort tae wad-be lunar colonists—the sample oreeginatit mony kilometres ablo the surface, an the inclusions are sae difficult tae access that it teuk 39 years tae find them wi a state-o-the-airt ion microprobe instrument.

Gravitational field

The gravitational field o the Muin haes been meisurt throu trackin the Doppler shift o radio signals emittit bi orbitin spacecraft. The main lunar gravity featurs are mascons, lairge positive gravitational anomalies associatit wi some o the giant impact basins, partly caused bi the dense mare basaltic lava flaws that fill thae basins.[69][70] The anomalies greatly influence the orbit o spacecraft aboot the Muin. Thare are some puzzles: lava flaws bi themsels canna expleen aw o the gravitational signatur, an some mascons exist that are nae linked tae mare volcanism.[71]

Magnetic field

The Muin haes a freemit magnetic field o aboot 1–100 nanoteslas, less nor ane-hundert that o Yird. It daes nae currently hae a global dipolar magnetic field an anly haes crustal magnetisation, probably acquired early in lunar history whan a dynamo wis still operatin.[72][73] Alternatively, some o the remnant magnetization mey be frae transient magnetic fields generatit in lairge impact events throu the expansion o an impact-generatit plasma clood in the presence o an ambient magnetic field. This is supportit bi the apparent location o the lairgest crustal magnetisations near the antipodes o the giant impact basins.[74]


Sketch bi the Apollo 17 astronauts. The lunar atmosphere wis later studied bi LADEE.[75][76]

The Muin haes an atmosphere sae tenuous as tae be nearly vacuum, wi a tot mass o less nor 10 metric tons (9.8 long tons; 11 short tons).[77] The surface pressur o this smaw mass is aroond 3 × 10−15  atm (0.3  nPa); it varies wi the lunar day. Its soorces include ootgassin an sputterin, a product o the bombardment o lunar sile bi solar wind ions.[9][78] Elements that hae been detectit include sodium an potassium, produced bi sputterin (an aa foond in the atmospheres o Mercur an Io); helium-4 an neon[79] frae the solar wind; an argon-40, radon-222, an polonium-210, ootgassed efter thair creaution bi radioactive decay within the crust an mantle.[80][81] The absence o sic neutral species (atoms or molecules) as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen an magnesium, that are present in the regolith, is nae unnerstuid.[80] Watter vapour haes been detectit bi Chandrayaan-1 an foond tae vary wi latitude, wi a maximum at ~60–70 degrees; it is possibly generatit frae the sublimation o watter ice in the regolith.[82] Thir gases aither return intae the regolith due tae the Muin's gravity or are lost tae space, aither throu solar radiation pressur or, if thay are ionized, bi bein swept awey bi the solar wind's magnetic field.[80]


A permanent asymmetric muin dist clood exists aroond the Muin, creautit bi smaw particles frae comets. Estimates are 5 tons o comet pairticles strike the Muin's surface ilk 24 oors. The pairticles strike the Muin's surface ejectin muin dist abuin the Muin. The dist stays abuin the Muin approximately 10 meenits, takkin 5 minutes tae rise, an 5 minutes tae faw. On average, 120 kilogrammes o dist are present abuin the Muin, rising tae 100 kilometers abuin the surface. The dist meisurments war made bi LADEE's Lunar Dust EXperiment (LDEX), atween 20 an 100 kilometres abuin the surface, in a sax-month period. LDEX detectit an average o ane 0.3 micrometer muin dist pairticle ilk meenit. Dist pairticle coonts peaked during the Geminid, Quadrantid, Northren Taurid, an Omicron Centaurid meteor shawers, whan the Yird, an Muin, pass throu comet debris. The clood is asymmetric, mair dense near the boondary atween the Muin's dayside an nichtside.[83][84]


The Muin's axial tilt wi respect tae the ecliptic is anly 1.5424°,[85] muckle less nor the 23.44° o Yird. Acause o this, the Muin's solar illumination varies muckle less wi saison, an topografical details play a crucial role in saisonal effects.[86] Frae eemages taken bi Clementine in 1994, it appears that fower moontainous regions on the rim o Peary Crater at the Muin's north pole mey remeen illuminatit for the entire lunar day, creautin peaks o eternal licht. No sic regions exist at the sooth pole. Seemilarly, thare are places that remeen in permanent shaidae at the bottoms o mony polar craters,[58] an thir dark craters are extremely cauld: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter meisurt the lawest simmer temperaturs in craters at the soothren pole at 35 K (−238 °C; −397 °F)[87] an juist 26 K (−247 °C; −413 °F) close tae the winter solstice in north polar Hermite Crater. This is the cauldest temperatur in the Solar Seestem iver meosurt bi a spacecraft, caulder oven than the surface o Pluto.[86] Average temperaturs o the Muin's surface are reportit, but temperaturs o different auries will vary greatly dependin upon whether thay are in sunlicht or shaidae.[88]

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armãneashti: Lunâ
русский: Луна
русиньскый: Місяць (сателіт)
संस्कृतम्: चन्द्रः
саха тыла: Ый
sardu: Luna
sicilianu: Luna
سنڌي: چنڊ
davvisámegiella: Mánnu
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Mjesec
Simple English: Moon
slovenčina: Mesiac
slovenščina: Luna
Soomaaliga: Bil
shqip: Hëna
српски / srpski: Месец
Seeltersk: Moune
Basa Sunda: Bulan (satelit)
svenska: Månen
ślůnski: Mjeśůnczek
தமிழ்: நிலா
ತುಳು: ಚಂದ್ರೆ
తెలుగు: చంద్రుడు
тоҷикӣ: Моҳтоб
Türkmençe: Aý (hemra)
Türkçe: Ay
татарча/tatarça: Ай (иярчен)
тыва дыл: Ай
українська: Місяць (супутник)
اردو: چاند
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Oy
vèneto: Łuna
vepsän kel’: Kudmaine
Tiếng Việt: Mặt Trăng
West-Vlams: Moane
Volapük: Mun
walon: Lune
吴语: 月球
მარგალური: თუთა (ალმაშარე)
ייִדיש: לבנה
Yorùbá: Òṣùpá
Vahcuengh: Ronghndwen
Zeêuws: Maen (Aerde)
中文: 月球
Bân-lâm-gú: Goe̍h-niû
粵語: 月光
isiZulu: Inyanga