as of 12/17/2018, 2458470.27243 JD
|Location||Currently in the constellation Pisces|
|Phase||72%, Gibbous Moon|
|Details provided by XEphem|
The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite. It has no formal English name other than "the Moon", although it is occasionally called Luna (Latin: moon), or Selene (Greek: moon), to distinguish it from the generic term "moon" (referring to any of the various natural satellites of other planets). Its symbol is a crescent. The related adjective for the Moon is lunar (again from the Latin root), but this is not found in combination, the combining forms seleno-/-selene (again from the Greek) and -cynthion (from the Lunar deity Cynthia) being used in terms relating to the Moon in various other contexts (e.g. aposelene, selenocentric, pericynthion, etc.).
The average distance from the Moon to the Earth is 384,401 kilometres (238,857 mi). The Moon's diameter is 3,476 kilometres (2,160 mi). Reflected sunlight from the Moon's surface reaches Earth in approximately 1.3 seconds (at the speed of light). The Moon is the Solar System's fifth largest moon, both by diameter and mass, ranking behind Ganymede, Titan, Callisto, and Io.
The first man-made object to impact the lunar surface was Luna 2 in 1959; the first photographs of the normally occluded far side of the Moon were made by Luna 3 in the same year. The first spacecraft to perform a successful lunar soft landing was Luna 9 in 1966. The first manned mission to orbit the Moon was Apollo 8, and the first people to land on the Moon came aboard Apollo 11 in 1969. It is the only celestial body other than the Earth upon which humans have set foot.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Moon".