The Earth’s Moon

The Earth’s moon is a celestial body that orbits the Earth. It is the fifth-largest moon in the solar system and the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of its host planet. The moon has a rocky composition and a heavily cratered surface. It has a diameter of about 3,476 kilometers and a mass about 1/81th of Earth. Its distance from Earth varies between 356,500 km at its closest and 405,500 km at its farthest. It takes about 29.5 days to orbit Earth, and the same amount of time to rotate on its axis. The moon has no atmosphere or significant hydrosphere and its temperature varies greatly between its day and night sides. It is thought to have formed about 4.5 billion years ago, likely as a result of a Mars-sized body colliding with the young Earth.

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