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9 Facts about the Moon you probably didn´t know

Things you always wanted to know but never asked yourself


Wolves don´t care about the moon

How does the moon sounds? A quiet strange question, but the answer is: like howling wolves. In fact in some places the howling is increasing at night. The truth: Wolves don´t care about the moon and its phases.

Wolves are nocturnal, so you hear their howling specially at nights. Also you cann see the fullmoon only at nights, so our ancestors mixed some things up and boom: a legend is born, which is often used in hollywood movies.


A day on the moon lasts one month

The moon rotates around the earth and at the same time around its axis. Since he does both at the same speed and in the same direction, the same half of the moon is always pointing to earth. In astronomical terms, this is called bound rotation.

While this phenomenon is responsible for the development of wonderful conspiracy theories - who knows what is going on on the back of the moon? - it also affects the length of day on the moon. The earth rotates around its axis much faster than the moon, a day here lasts about 24 hours. On the moon, however, a full lunar month passes from one sunrise to the next, i.e. about 29.5 days.


The total solar eclipse is dying out

On the 14. December a total solar eclipse is in South America. But soon, there wont be this special event anymore.

"Soon" means: in 550 milion years. Thats because the moon getting further away from earth, every year it is about 1.5 inches.

The farther the moon is away, the smaller it is on our heaven. in about half a billion years it will be too far to cover the whole sun. And from this point, there will be only partial and annular solar eclipses.


Solar Eclipse changing over time

Soon we wont have a total eclipse anymore

The earth never rises or sets on the moon

Since the same half of the moon always points to the earth, there is no earth rise or earth set on the moon. Or, to be more precise: If you are in a place on the moon's surface where the earth is close to the horizon, the libration, an apparent tumbling motion of the moon, can cause the earth to move a little above or below moving the horizon. However, this is not comparable to the moonrise or moonset that we Earthlings can admire day after day.

But how did the famous photos of the rise of the earth that NASA astronauts took in 1968 and which went down in history under the name Earthrise? Everything fake? No, the pictures were not taken on the surface of the moon, but on board the Apollo 8, which was orbiting the moon at the time. So it was not the movement of the moon that was responsible for the earth rise, but that of the spaceship.


There is a second earth moon

In any case, this is what different people have said in the past. In 1846, the Frenchman Frédéric Petit surprised the professional world with his supposed discovery of a very small second moon that orbits only 11.4 km above the surface of the earth - i.e. within reach of a conventional tourist plane. The mini moon was never sighted, neither by contemporary astronomers who systematically searched the sky for it, nor by Mallorca tourists (if they were sober).

This probably fictional mini moon is not to be confused with the actual mini moon, the counterpart to the super moon.


The full moon robs us of sleep

Grandma always knew: When the moon is full you sleep poorly and the next morning you feel as if you are whacked - and this is comfortably confirmed when you look at the lunar calendar.

In contrast to French mini moons and secret machinations on the back of the moon, there really seems to be something to this steep thesis. In any case, there are scientific studies that seem to support Omi's thesis.


Cat on the moon

Cats interacting in a mysterious way with the moon

Sometimes there is a full moon at noon

The full moon can only be seen at night. Because of that - you remember? - various howling night owls in the animal kingdom are associated with this moon phase. So how can it be that the lunar calendar tries to make us believe that the full moon occurs during the day?

 Well, the phases of the moon are not based on the time of day. They are defined as the moments when the moon takes a certain position compared to the sun and earth. The astronomers don't care that the full moon is over the Harbor Bridge in Sydney instead of Unterammergau at the crucial moment. Full moon, new moon and the other phases of the moon take place all over the world at the same time - even if the moon is not visible to you at this point in time.


In Australia the moon is upside down

Where are we currently standing on the Harbor Bridge in Sydney: A nice side effect of traveling down under is that you can see the moon from a completely different perspective. Since you are roughly on the opposite side of the globe in Australia, you are standing on your head, so to speak, compared to the average European.

Few phenomena are better suited to making oneself aware of one's involuntary headstand than looking at the moon. Suddenly the man in the moon appears the wrong way round, and the moon's day-night boundary moves over the lunar surface from left to right instead of right to left over the course of a lunar month.


There is no always dark side of the moon

Ever since the hit album Dark Side of the Moon by the rock band Pink Floyd, which was released in 1973, people have fantasized about a moon side that is always night. But that's nonsense: The same half of the moon always points to the earth, so there is, so to speak, a front and therefore a mysterious back of the moon. But that doesn't change the fact that the moon, like the earth, constantly rotates around its own axis. Even if this happens much more slowly, other areas are always irradiated by the sun.


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