The fifth largest natural satellite in our solar system, our crater-filled moon can feel both familiar and mysterious. It orbits Earth at an average distance of 30 Earths—that’s around 384,400 km (238,855 miles)—and rotates at the same rate as it revolves. It also happens to be “about 400 times smaller than the Sun, but the Sun happens to be about 400 times further from the Earth than the Moon is,” making for perfect solar eclipses.

From National Geographic, this is Moon 101, a quick primer on the moon’s origins, its age, what it’s made of, how it influenced our earliest calendars, and other fascinating facts for all ages.

Follow this video with Earthrise from the moon, captured by JAXA Kaguya Spacecraft, Tour the Moon in 4K, take a Guided Tour of How the Moon Evolved, the phases of the moon visualized from the other side, and Phases of the Moon, animated with Virtual Moon Atlas.

h/t Kottke.

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