Inside of a Moon: What is a Moon Made of?
The moon surface is much more than what the eye can see. When looking at our natural satellite’s surface from Earth, you might imagine that it’s empty and there’s nothing we can find on this barren surface. But we already know it’s not the case. If you want to know what is the Moon made of, read further and understand more about this celestial body that has fascinated humanity for centuries. Knowing more about what’s inside the Moon is as important as knowing more about its surface.
The first thing to know, Moon’s core does exist, too. Just like our planet, it has a crust, a mantle, and a core. And this core might be surrounded by soft and somewhat liquid molten iron. Its outer core can extend towards the exterior to as far as 310 miles or 500 km.
When compared to other celestial bodies, the lunar core is only 20% of the entire Moon. In other rocky bodies, this core is up to 50%. And under the Moon’s crust, you can find 620 miles or 1,000 km thick lithosphere.
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Is the Moon a star or a rock?
To understand more about the lunar surface and what is the Moon made of, it’s important to first know what the Moon is. To begin with, it is NOT a star. Even if it shines like all other stars out there, lunar light is in fact, the light coming from the Sun and reflected from the lunar surface.
If you want to know what’s into the Moon, remember that this celestial body can’t ignite itself like stars. And since the lunar core never ignited, it cannot be called a star.
The lunar composition resembles that of Earth a lot. Lunar rocks are very much like our Earthly rocks. Also, Moon’s minerals are very much the same as the minerals on our planet. However, lunar minerals surely have their differences from ours.
There is no atmosphere on the Moon either, so this celestial body doesn’t show any trace of life. Moreover, there is no water in its rocks. But what the “rocky side” of the Moon tells us is that the lunar surface is ancient — all the spots we see on our satellite surfaces are, most likely, impacts from old meteorites.
What type of rock is the Moon made of?
They are mostly metals and rocks. As to what parts of the Moon we know about, its structural composition is very similar to some parts of Venus, Mars, and Mercury.
You can know from Orbital Today and other reliable sources that Moon’s surface is covered in the regolith. Regolith is a blanket made of fine rock particles that vary between 10 and 65 feet or 3 and 20 m in depth. So, Neil Armstrong’s famous footprint on the lunar surface is in the regolith.
It can be problematic to interpret all this data, as the lunar surface happens to be a composite entity itself. And lunar conditions are not like conditions on Earth because our satellite doesn’t have a magnetosphere.
The magnetosphere prevents solar wind from depositing Hydrogen or other heavier elements on the surface of a celestial body. And while low lunar gravity allows more magnetosphere to dissipate into outer space, there’s more of it arriving as well. It’s also important to note that numerous meteors impact the lunar surface on colliding with it, too.
What about the lunar atmosphere?
So the Moon has a core and a mantle, while its surface is covered in the regolith, let’s find out more about its atmosphere. You probably know that does not exist, but does it mean the lunar surface has no air at all? Well, lunar “air” consists of extremely rarefied shells of gases such as helium, Hydrogen, neon, and argon.
These gases have no effect on the Moon itself and are not at all as dense as gases in our planet’s atmosphere. And so, life on the Moon can’t be anything like life on our planet. Besides, the lunar atmosphere is strongly related to how gases behave on its surface. And how exactly do these gases behave on its surface?
Since the lunar surface cannot retain any gas, it simply flies gases into space. This is also why our natural satellite doesn’t retain any of the Sun’s heat and has temperature fluctuations.
When unlit, the lunar surface can reach 150 degrees Celsius, whereas, on its sunny side, it can reach 134 degrees Celsius. So, we wouldn’t fancy a walk on the lunar surface without proper equipment anytime soon.
However, humanity still plans a Moon return. We already have the Artemis mission from NASA in development, and we should expect to colonize this satellite sooner rather than later, especially now that we know more about the lunar surface and what’s inside of a Moon.