Astronomy in questions and answers
astronomy in questions and answers
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The Moon [Questions 15-23]

15. How many craters are there on the Moon?

On the side of the Moon that is visible from the Earth are 30,000 visible craters. There are many more small craters there which we cannot see. They are smaller than 1/4 of a kilometre in diameter.

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16. What is the largest crater on the Moon?

The crater Bailly is the largest crater on the visible side of the Moon. It is more than 300 kilometres in diameter.

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17. Which is the deepest crater on the Moon?

Newton, a large crater lying near the south pole of the Moon, is the deepest crater. Its walls rise 8,839 metres from the inside surface of the crater and the centre of Newton is always in the shadow of these walls.

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18. Who named the places on the Moon?

Many men at many times named the places on the Moon. The first reasonably accurate map of the Moon was made by Hevelius. He named most of the lunar places. In 1651, Riccioli published a map of the Moon in which he kept some of Hevelius's names. He changed some and added many of his own. He gave the craters their names. About 200 Riccioli's names are still used.

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19. Who names the craters now?

The International Astronomical Union does at its sessions.

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20. Are there mountains on the Moon?

There are many mountains on the Moon. Many mountains were named by Hevelius: the Alps, the Altai, the Apennines, the Carpathians, the Caucasus and others.

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21. What caused the mountains on the Moon?

People have believed that the mountains on the Moon were formed in the same way as on the Earth.

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22. Are there really seas on the Moon?

No. The names of the "seas" and "ocean" on the Moon were given by Riccioli. People then thought that dark areas of the Moon were covered with water.

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23. What is now known about the other side of the Moon?

Until 1959, nothing definite was known about that part of the Moon which is always turned away from the Earth. In October 1959, Russia launched the Luna-3 probe, which passed beyond the Moon and photographed the other side, later sending these pictures back to the Earth by means of television techniques. These first photographs were quite good to draw up a map of the new regions. Dark areas have been named the Moscow Sea and the Dream Sea. Many large craters have been discovered there, and some of them got new names. Traditionally, these are the names of scientists from different countries: Hertz, Kurchatov, Lomonosov, Maxwell, Mendeleyev, Pasteur, Popov, Tsiolkovsky and others.
On July 20, 1965 the Zond-3 probe made 25 pictures of the rest of the other side of the Moon.
So the complete map of the Moon was prepared.

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See also
• The Sun
• The Earth
• Mercury, Venus and Mars
• Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
• Meteors and Comets
• Stars
• The Constellations
• Galaxies
• Scientists and Astronomers

Related Internet Links
• Atlas of the Moon
• The Moon Museum
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