The Ultimate Moon Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
1 min
The Ultimate Moon Quiz
Image: Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Wolves supposedly howl at it, a fairy tale claims a cow once jumped over it and legends say if you look hard enough, there's a man in it. Yes, the moon has a prominent place in popular culture, but there's a lot you might not know about Earth's little orbiting friend. Why doesn't it have soil? Why is its gravity so important? And are we really thinking of going back soon?
How far is the moon from Earth?
5,280 miles (8,497 kilometers)
186,000 miles (299,338 kilometers)
240,250 miles (384,400 kilometers)
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The moon is Earth's only natural satellite, as well as the closest celestial object, orbiting just 240,250 miles from Earth.

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How many American astronauts have explored the lunar surface?
3
12
24
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

From 1969 to 1972, six lunar landing missions afforded 12 American astronauts the opportunity to walk on the moon. In addition to taking photographs and setting up scientific instruments, the astronauts returned with 842 pounds (382 kilograms) of moon rocks and dust samples.

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The largest mare on the moon is the:
Mare Imbrium (Sea of Showers)
Mare Nubium (Sea of Clouds)
Mare Tranquilitatis (Sea of Tranquility)
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

At about 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) in diameter, the Mare Imbrium is the largest of its kind on the moon. Maria are the dark areas on the moon and cover about 15 percent of the lunar surface. The maria consist primarily of basalt, an igneous rock derived from cooled lava.

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The moon's soil is:
made up of fragments of deceased organisms that used to live on the moon
made up of sand very similar to the sand found on Earth
not actually soil because there's no living matter on the moon
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The gray surface of the moon is not actually soil because nothing lives on the moon. It's known as regolith, a mixture of a fine powder of rocks and volcanic glass particles along with larger rocks.

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The density of the moon:
is almost identical to the density of Earth
is about twice the density of Earth
is less than the density of Earth
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

By examining rocks brought back from the lunar surface, geologists found that the density of the moon (3.3 g/cm3) is less than the density of Earth (5.5 g/cm3). This indicates that the moon doesn't have an iron core.

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The double planet, or condensation hypothesis, claimed that the moon:
was fully formed and captured by the Earth's gravity as it wandered by
formed with the Earth at about the same time
formed when the young Earth spun so rapidly on its axis that a blob of molten Earth spun off
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The double planet hypothesis of the 1960s claimed that the moon and Earth had formed at about the same time. Upon studying lunar samples, however, scientists found that the composition of the moon was different from the composition of Earth. If the double planet hypothesis was correct, then the composition of both bodies should've been the same, and it wasn't.

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The moon's period of lunar volcanism lasted from:
about 3.7 to 2.5 billion years ago
about 4.6 to 3.9 billion years ago
about 2.4 to 1.6 billion years ago
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The period of lunar volcanism on the moon lasted from about 3.7 to 2.5 billion years ago. During this time, lava flowed from the moon's volcanoes, and much of the moon's heat was lost. Once the volcanic period ended, most of the moon's internal heat was gone, so there was no major geologic activity.

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The moon's gravity:
allows it to orbit the Earth at a consistent rate
has a significant impact on the frequency of natural disasters on Earth in a given year
creates the tides in Earth's oceans as a result of its pull
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Amazingly, the changes in the level of Earth's oceans are caused by the pull of the moon's gravity. The moon's gravitational force pulls on water in the oceans and stretches the water out to form tidal bulges. This is what creates two high tides and two low tides each day.

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If the moon passes through the part of the Earth’s shadow called the umbra:
A partial lunar eclipse will occur.
A total lunar eclipse will occur.
A total solar eclipse will occur.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When the moon passes through the umbra, a total lunar eclipse occurs. In a lunar eclipse, the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, created by the sun, which causes its light to dim.

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Several nations have called for plans to return to the moon in the next:
25 years
50 years
100 years
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Various nations have proposed lunar missions by 2035. The primary reason for man returning to the moon is to build lunar bases on the lunar surface. The United States, Japan and China are a few of the nations that have explored this possibility. Returning to the moon to build a lunar base would be done for research and commercial purposes, including manufacturing, mining and tourism.

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You Got:
/10
Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images