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Discovery Magazine 1/1/1990

The Moon: Our Friend In Space

by  Brad Bromling, D.Min.

 Have you ever wondered what the Moon is really like? Because men from the United States have walked on the Moon, we know much about it. Its surface is covered with cooled lava (lava is rock that is so hot that it flows like honey. When it cools it becomes hard). On top of this lava is a thin blanket of powdered rock or dust. The Moon has no water, no air, and no life. Its sky is always black; even in the daytime. Because large rocks called meteors have hit the Moon, it is covered with many pits or craters. Many of these craters are so big that we can see them from Earth. The rock that makes up the Moon's lowlands is darker in color than the rock that makes up the mountain tops. Because of this difference in color, we see what looks like a smiling face on the Moon.

What Good Is The Moon?

The Moon is important for many reasons. One reason is that it gives us light at night. Although the Moon does not give off its own light, it does reflect light from the Sun. Can you imagine how dark it would be if the Moon never shined at night? A second reason the Moon is important is that it gives us a way to measure time. Every month the Moon travels around the Earth. At one point in this journey it looks big, bright, and full. But, as it moves to another point, it seems to disappear. This is because at that time we are not able to see the side of the Moon upon which the Sun is shining. Since the Moon changes from completely dark to completely light every 29 1/2 days, we can keep track of the month just by watching the Moon. A third reason the Moon is important is that it causes the oceans to move. The Earth rotates (spins around) once every day. As it does, the Moon's gravity pulls on the Earth's oceans and land, causing the seas to rise and fall (this is called ocean tides). Tides help the oceans to circulate (move). This movement is necessary to maintain life in the seas.

Like a smiling friend, the Moon circles our planet giving us light at night, helping us keep track of the months, and causing our ocean tides. In all of these things, the Moon reminds us of how much God cares for us.

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