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Lunar Resources

On this page:
| Basic Facts | Orbital Parameters | Lunar Atmosphere | Resource Maps |

Elsewhere on this website:
| The Full Moon Lunar Atlas |
| Lunar Dictionary | Lunar Crater Catalog | Lunar Links | Lunar Phases |
| Lunar Landing Sites | Apollo Spacecraft Today |

Basic facts and miscellaneous information about the Moon:

Parameter

Moon

Earth

Ratio
Moon/Earth

Mass (1024 kg)

0.07349

5.9736

0.0123

Volume (1010 km3)

2.1968

108.321

0.0203

Equatorial radius (km)

1737.4

6378.1

0.2724

Polar radius (km)

1737.4

6356.8

0.2733

Volumetric mean radius (km)

1737.4

6371.0

0.2727

Ellipticity (Flattening)

0.000

0.00335

0.0

Mean density (kg/m3)

3340

5515

0.605

Surface gravity (m/s2)

1.62

9.78

0.166

Escape velocity (km/s)

2.38

11.2

0.213

GM (x 106 km3/s2)

0.0049

0.3986

0.0123

Bond albedo

0.11

0.306

0.360

Visual geometric albedo

0.12

0.367

0.330

Visual magnitude V(1,0)

+ 0.21

- 3.86

-

Solar irradiance (W/m2)

1367.6

1367.6

1.000

Black-body temperature (K)

274.5

254.3

1.079

Topographic range (km)

16

20

0.800

Moment of inertia (I/MR2)

0.394

0.3308

1.191

J2 (x 10-6)

202.7

1082.63

0.187

Orbital Parameters

Parameters for the Moon's orbit about the Earth:

Parameter                                 Moon
Semimajor axis (106 km)                  0.3844
Perigee (106 km)                         0.3633
Apogee (106 km)                          0.4055
Revolution period (days)                27.3217
Synodic period (days)                   29.53
Mean orbital velocity (km/s)             1.023
Max. orbital velocity (km/s)             1.076
Min. orbital velocity (km/s)             0.964
Orbit inclination (deg)                  5.145
Orbit eccentricity                       0.0549
Sidereal rotation period (hrs)         655.728
Equatorial inclination (deg)             6.68
Recession rate from Earth (cm/yr)        3.8
 
Mean values at opposition from Earth
        Distance from Earth (km)              384,467.
        Apparent diameter (seconds of arc)       1864.2
        Apparent visual magnitude                 -12.74

Lunar Atmosphere

Diurnal temperature range: >100 K to <400 K (roughly -250 F to +250 F)
Total mass of atmosphere:  ~25,000 kg
Surface pressure (night): 3 x 10-15 bar (2 x 10-12 torr)
Abundance at surface: 2 x 105 particles/cm3
 
Estimated Composition (particles per cubic cm):
    Helium 4 (4He) - 40,000
    Neon 20 (20Ne) - 40,000
    Hydrogen (H2) - 35,000
    Argon 40 (40Ar) - 30,000
    Neon 22 (22Ne) - 5,000
    Argon 36 (36Ar) - 2,000
    Methane - 1000
    Ammonia - 1000
    Carbon Dioxide (CO2) - 1000 
    Trace Oxygen (O+), Aluminum (Al+), Silicon (Si+
    Possible Phosphorus (P+), Sodium (Na+), Magnesium (Mg+)

Composition of the tenuous lunar atmosphere is poorly known and variable, these are estimates of the upper limits of the nighttime ambient atmosphere composition.  Daytime levels were difficult to measure due to heating and outgassing of Apollo surface experiments.

Resource Maps

The Full Moon Atlas: Produced in cooperation with the Lunar Republic Society, the Full Moon Atlas is the most comprehensive series of interactive lunar maps available on the Internet. (Also available on CD-ROM.)

The Lunar Republic Society also recommends the Lunar Orbiter Atlas of the Moon, produced by NASA and the Johnson Space Center, as an excellent resource for lunar feature photography. Photographs are accessible by feature name and coordinate range.

Titanium Map

Titanium deposits on the Moon, shown in red, can be found in high concentration in the near-side mares.
[Click to enlarge]

Iron Map

Also in abundance is iron, shown in red, as detected by the Clementine project.
[Click to enlarge]


For additional resources, please visit our Lunar Links page.


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