The Moon

The Moon is the largest and brightest object we see in the night sky. The Earth only has one moon. There are over 200 moons in our Solar System. A moon is a natural satellite of a planet. This means it orbits a planet and was not made by humans.

Have you ever wondered if the Moon has a name? We usually just call it 'the Moon' but scientists sometimes call it 'Luna'.

The Earth's Moon is the 5th largest moon in the Solar System. It is 3,474 km from one side to the other. This means you could fit about 4 Moons side by side across the Earth. Gravity is weaker on the Moon because the Moon is less massive than the Earth.

Have you noticed the Moon is brighter some nights than others? And it looks like the Moon changes shape? We call these changes the phases of the Moon. This happens because the Moon orbits the Earth.

The Moon also causes the Earth's tides. Tides are the rise and fall in sea levels each day.

Learn more about Earth's Moon


Credit: Tangopaso

Lunar Libration

Moon Phases

Credit: MKcray

Moon Orbit

Credit: NASA