5. The Moon: stepping stone to the planets

Basic data

Physical properties of the Moon*

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Mass 7.348 x 1022 kilograms = 0,0012 ME
Mean radius 1.738 x 106 meters = 0.2725 RE
Mean mass density 3,344 kilograms per cubic meter
Rotation period 27.322 days = sidereal month
Orbital period, the sidereal month 27.322 days = fixed star to fixed star
Synodic Month 29.53 days = new Moon to new Moon
Mean distance from Earth 3.844 x 108 meters
Increase in mean distance 0.0382 0.0007 meters per year
Mean orbital speed 1,023 meters per second
Angular radius at mean distance (geocentric) 15 minutes 32.6 seconds of arc
Angular radius at mean distance (topocentric) 15 minutes 48.3 seconds of arc
Age 4.55 x 109 years
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* Here ME and RE respectively denote the mass and radius of the Earth.

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Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University