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Have you ever seen the man in the moon?Or maybe the rabbit? People have been staring at the moon for thousands of years. Back in 1610, using the newly invented telescope, Galilei Galileo described many features of the moon.Galileo saw the large, dark, relatively smooth patches on the moon and called them mare, which means “sea” in Latin. The Latin plural of mare is maria. More recent investigation has shown maria not to be oceans, but ancient lava flows. The first Apollo moon landing was on Mare Tranquillitatis.There are two main types of lighter-colored highlands on the moon—montes, which are mountain ranges, and mons, which are isolated single mountains.Probably the most well-known features of the moon are craters. Craters are very round basins that can be one inch or hundreds of miles across. The majority of the moon’s craters are impact craters, which formed when meteoroids, asteroids, or comets collided with the moon’s surface. A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body that ranges in size from a small grain to one meter. Asteroids are much larger than meteoroids and are sometimes called minor planets. They are found in the inner solar system (as far in as Jupiter). Comets, like meteoroids and asteroids, are composed of space debris, but their surfaces give off gases, and they often have irregular orbits.Most of the moon is covered in a two-inch layer of space dust, which is why visiting astronauts left distinctive footprints.

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Fecha publicación: 12.5.2016

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