Fun Facts About The Moon
We've all been there- we think we're fairly educated... until our children come around with questions we simply don't know how to answer. We've created a fun little fact sheet about the moon for any future trips you might have with your children.
How far away is the moon?
When teaching your kids about the distance between Earth and the Moon, it's important to put the measurement into perspective. The best way to do this, is to show them by acting it out. For example, to show the distance of one kilometer, take a one kilometer walk with your child under the moon. When you've finished your walk and see that they're tired, tell them that the Moon is at an average distance of 384,400 kilometers. Put this distance into perspective by telling them you would have to walk the same distance you walked 384,400 times to reach the Moon. Let them know that this distance represents the width of 30 Earths put together. You can also take the time to explain to them that the Moon doesn't go around (orbit) Earth in a circle. It actually travels in a sort of elliptical orbit, which is what makes its distance vary. You can demonstrate this by walking in perfect circles vs. imperfect circles around you children.
What's the temperature like on the moon?
When discussing the temperature on the Moon, just like distance, you want to create perspective for your children. You can do this by explaining the temperature it currently is outside to draw a comparison to the Moon. This is also a great way to show your children how to use a thermometer. The average temperature on the Moon varies from -298 degrees Fahrenheit, at night, to 224 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. You can also explain to your children that while the Earth has an atmosphere that can block some of the Sun's rays or help trap heat at night, the Moon does not. This is why the temperature varies so much on the Moon.
How much would I weight on the Moon?
On the moon, a person usually weights six times less than they do here on Earth (for those of you reading this article on Mars, my apologies). The Moon, has one sixth the gravity of Earth. However, the Moon still exerts a gravitational force on things... just less force because it's just got less things. This is also what allowed the astronauts to be able to jump around and move quickly on the Moon. It also led them to have trouble standing upright because according to ;Journal PLOS ONE; humans need at least 15 percent of the level of gravity found on Earth in order to orient themselves. Have your child stand on two bigger pine cones and try standing completely upright. Chances are, they will try to bend their legs or topple over because of the instability involved. This will give them an idea of what it's like to stand on the Moon.
- Caroline Mayou