LUNAR: Our Moon Uncovered

The Rise of Augmented Reality Apps
December 6, 2018
Virtual Globes in the Classroom
December 6, 2018

LUNAR: Our Moon Uncovered

Although it’s been studied longer than nearly every other celestial body, our moon continues to generate questions, inspire artists, propel astronauts and engage students.

Just fifty years ago, Neil Armstrong took one small step for man as he graced the moon’s surface. In that time we’ve continued to make discoveries both large and small about our celestial neighbor. The moon harbors fascinating mysteries, and its visibility in the night sky makes it a compelling classroom subject.

Take, for instance, that ice was recently found scattered across the moon’s surface. Could this mean alien life has been hiding in plain sight? Could humans use the ice to construct a moon village that could serve as a base to propel us further into our system? These questions have always seemed far-fetched and Jetsons-esque, but the possibility of one day traveling to the moon has nonetheless captivated generations of stargazers.

Introduce the basics of the moon and stymy conversation in your classroom with these moon related questions.

 

How was the Moon Created?

The moon is widely believed to have formed 4.5 billion years ago, shortly after Earth, when a giant Mars-sized object named Theia collided with Earth. The impact left enough material in Earth’s orbit to fuse together to form a moon.

Although this theory is widely accepted, it leaves many questions unanswered. The composition of moon rocks have the same isotopic signature as Earth rocks, yet they’re unlike anything else in the solar system. The current debate revolves around whether the moon is derived from Theia or Earth. In order to answer such questions, scientists must alter their giant impact hypothesis of the moon.

 

What is the Size of the Moon?

According to NASA, “if Earth were the size of a nickel, the moon would be about as big as a coffee bean.”

The size of the moon is approximately a quarter of the size of Earth (around 27%) and is ranked as the fifth largest moon in our solar system (the title of largest belongs to Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter that is larger than the planet Mercury!). However, it’s regarded as the largest moon when measured by the size of the planet it orbits.

The radius of the moon is 1,079.6 miles, with a surface area of 14.6 million square miles (less than the entire continent of Asia). It’s fairly light, too—Earth weighs 80 times more than the moon.

 

How Much Would I Weigh on the Moon?

If you’re looking to lose weight, you need not look further than the moon. A 200lb earthling weighs a mere 33.2lbs on the moon, which only has a 16% gravitational force compared to Earth. We’re not only lighter on the moon, but we can jump higher too. A 5-foot leap on Earth would be a 30-foot leap on the moon. Neil Armstrong wasn’t kidding!

 

What are the Moon Phases?

The eight moon phases that correlate to the amount of sunlight on its surface as seen from Earth, but in western culture, we attribute only four moon phases. These phases occur over a period of about 30 days.

  • New moon: The moon’s surface is in the Sun’s shadow and is completely dark. This is when the moon is “invisible.”
  • First quarter: Depending on the hemisphere you’re in, the sun is either lit halfway on its right side or its left side. For North America, we see the right side of the moon.
  • Full moon: As the name suggests, the moon is completely illuminated by the sun.
  • Third quarter: Also known as the “last quarter,” the moon is lit halfway on its left side.
    Four additional phases account for when the moon is seen either as a crescent or gibbous.

 

LUNAR Model

Utilizing the latest 3D printed and augmented technologies, AstroReality has created a model of the moon that can be utilized in a myriad of ways. It brings the moon closer to you than ever before and gives you an unparalleled way to explore the history of our moon. Simulate moon missions, learn fun facts, identify iconic features and embark on a lunar journey, all from the palm of your hand.

Besides LUNAR Regular, we offer two additional models of the moon.

LUNAR Pro is a 120mm 3D model of the moon. Each crater and pock has been meticulously handcrafted using accurate topography to depict the moon as we’ve known it for millennia.

LUNAR Mini is a 30mm model that can fit in a child’s hand. Despite its size, LUNAR Mini is imbued with the same level of craftsmanship and technology found in our other models.

 

Captivate and engage your students with LUNAR

Augmented reality is an exciting way to bring the solar system into the classroom. It boosts retention, drives participation and engagement, and prepares students for the future by introducing them to modern technologies. With LUNAR, you can explore the moon from any iOS or Android device.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *