REV. RONALD ROYER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY REV. RONALD ROYER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Full Moon. The only natural satellite of the Earth has a diameter of 3476km and lies at a mean distance of 384,000km from the Earth. The Moon's rotation period around the Earth is equal to its period of revolution and its value is 27.3 days. For this reason the Moon keeps the same face turned towards the Earth. The visible side is characterised by large dark areas called the lunar maria and a huge quantity of craters caused by the impacts of falling meteoroids. The lunar maria are relatively empty of craters and this suggests that these basins were filled in recent geological times by volcanic material.
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