My observation:

Taken: 20 May 2024 at 9:36pm EST

Equipment: Unistellar Equinox2

General Information:

  • Type: Moon
  • Distance from Earth: 384,400 km

The Moon, Earth’s only natural satellite, is a rocky body with a geologically diverse surface, characterized by vast plains called maria, impact craters, and highland regions. Its geology includes basaltic plains from ancient volcanic activity and anorthosite highlands, shaped significantly by asteroid impacts. The Moon orbits Earth at an average distance of about 384,400 kilometers, completing a revolution in approximately 27.3 days, which also matches its rotational period, resulting in the same side always facing Earth (synchronous rotation). This orbital relationship profoundly affects Earth’s tides and stabilizes its axial tilt, contributing to a stable climate over geological time scales. The interplay of tidal forces also causes a gradual increase in the Moon’s distance from Earth by about 3.8 centimeters per year.

Additional Details from NASA:

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Image: