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Crescent MoonOnce considered a cold and inert cinder, our cratered companion lacks a substantial atmosphere but is chemically akin to the Earth's outer layers. The moon is cooler and seismically less active than Earth, moonquakes are less frequent and weaker than earthquakes.

Vast dark areas - the basaltic maria, or lunar "seas" - fill huge depressions in the lighter-hued and more heavily cratered lunar highlands, or terrae.

To modern astronomers, the real importance of the moon lies in the fact that human beings not only have visited its surface but also brought back lunar rocks for study. Between 20 July 1969, when astronaut Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon, and the final Apollo mission in 1972, about 700 pounds of rock and soil samples were brought to Earth. These moon rocks contain information not just about the moon but also about the formation of our solar system. Their chemical composition allow us to determine their age, through a technique similar to Carbon-14 dating. So far, the oldest rocks found in the lunar highlands date to 4.4 billion years ago, the time when the moon first formed.

    Full Moon 4 September 2009 - (c) Solar Worlds Full Moon
No telescope? No problem.
Here's an example of a Lunar photograph taken with a digital camera and a long zoom lens.
Moon Flight Video - (c) Solar Worlds Moon Flight Video
A first attempt at recording a flight across the Lunar surface as a video - fasten your seatbelt!
Gassendi November 2007 - (c) Solar Worlds Gassendi
Large circular crater in the Mare Humorum region featuring interesting rilles and an impressive two-peaked central mountain
Crescent Moon - (c) Solar Worlds Crescent Moon
Mosaic of a pretty crescent Moon at dawn
Hadley Rille - (c) Solar Worlds Hadley Rille
My favourite place on the Moon. 50-mile long sinuous rille in the Apennine mountains
Solar Worlds - Albategnius Albategnius
Crater formation with damaged high walls in the Ptolemaeus crater region
First Quarter Moon - (c) Solar Worlds First Quarter Moon
View of the 8-day-old Moon
Lunar Eclipse March 2007 - (c) Solar Worlds Lunar Eclipse
Photos of the March 2007 Lunar Eclipse viewed from North London
Nearly full moon Nearly full moon
Digital camera colour shot
Straight Wall Straight Wall
300-meter high fault in Mare Nubium
Copernicus Copernicus
Crater in Mare Insularum
Mare Nectaris Mare Nectaris
Dark lava-filled basin with relatively few sizeable craters
Schroeter's Valley - (c) Solar Worlds Schroeter's Valley
Impressive rille which winds across the moon surface for 100 miles
Two-day-old Moon Two-day-old Moon
The two-day-old Moon is illuminated by Earth shine
Clavius Clavius
Dark lava-filled basin with relatively few sizeable craters
Hevelius - Solar Worlds Hevelius
Large circular plain in the West
Atlas - Solar Worlds Atlas
Circular crater North-East of Mare Serenitatis
Mons Hadley - Solar Worlds Mons Hadley
14,500ft mountain in the morning Sunlight, casting its shadow across the Palus Putredinis marsh
Hyginus Rille - Solar Worlds Hyginus Rille
Extensive rille located East of Mare Tranquillitatis region
Lunar Mountains Mosaic - Solar Worlds Lunar Mountains
Mosaic of the Caucasus and Apennine mountains
Perigee Full Moon - Solar Worlds Perigee Full Moon
Large full Moon at perigee - photograph taken hours after a Lunar eclipse
Phocylides - (c) Solar Worlds Phocylides
Crater trio in the South-Western quadrant of the Moon
Mersenius Rille - (c) Solar Worlds Mersenius Rille
140-mile long rille system just West of crater Gassendi


(c) 2008 Solar Worlds - All rights reserved. Last updated 04 September 2009. Tell a friend