The Moon - Quiz

The Moon - Quiz
The Moon has been theobject of awe and fascination since our humanoid ancestors first looked up into the sky. Here are some questions about the Moon and our links with it. You have three choices to complete each statement about our satellite. You can then check your answers, and also find out a bit more.

Quiz: The Moon

  1. A lunar eclipse occurs when: (A) the Moon is lined up between the Sun and the Earth; (B) when a full Moon is nearest to the Earth; (C) the Earth is directly between the Sun and the Moon

  2. The phase of the Moon that is also known as the second quarter is: (A) half Moon; (B) gibbous Moon; (C) full Moon

  3. We always see the same side of the Moon because the Moon: (A) doesn't turn on its axis; (B) the Sun's gravity pulls strongly on it; (C) takes the same amount of time to orbit as it does to turn once on its axis

  4. The length of a month counted from new Moon to the next new Moon (a synodic month) is: (A) 28.5 days; (B) 29.5 days; (C) 30.5 days

  5. The first image ever seen of the far side of the Moon came from: (A) NASA's Surveyor 1; (B) the Soviet Luna 3; (C) NASA's Ranger 7

  6. The Moon's orbit isn't circular. The point where the Moon is at its closest to the Earth is called: (A) apogee; (B) perigee; (C) aphelion

  7. The dark areas on the face of the Moon (the lunar maria) are: (A) basaltic rock that formed in ancient craters; (B) dried-up beds of ancient seas; (C) areas darkened by impact debris from the Late Heavy Bombardment

  8. The number of Apollo missions that landed people on the Moon was: (A) 2; (B) 4; (C) 6

  9. Neil Armstrong was the first man on the Moon. The last one (so far!) was: (A) Gene Cernan; (B) Harrison Schmitt; (C) David Scott

  10. The name of the Chinese lunar rover was: (A) Chang'e (Moon goddess); (B) Heng-O (mother of heavens); (C) Yutu (jade rabbit)
Answers and notes

1. A lunar eclipse occurs when: (C) the Earth is directly between the Sun and the Moon.
It's the Earth's shadow that we see on the Moon during a lunar eclipse. It can only occur when the Earth is precisely aligned with a full Moon.

2. The phase of the Moon that is also known as the second quarter is: (C) full Moon.
This diagram shows the Moon phases. Follow the diagram from new Moon counterclockwise to half Moon – that is the first quarter Moon. Another quarter circle takes you to the second quarter Moon which is the full Moon.

3. We always see the same side of the Moon because the Moon: (C) takes the same amount of time to orbit as it does to turn once on its axis.
This little animation shows the Moon in motion. The Moon on the left orbits Earth keeping the same side facing Earth. It rotates on its axis once in the time it takes for one orbit. The Moon on the right shows what would happen if it didn't rotate as it orbited. Watch it carefully, and you can see that all parts of the Moon would at some time be visible from somewhere on Earth.

3. The length of a month counted from new Moon to the next new Moon (a synodic month) is: (B) 29.5 days.
The Moon takes 27.5 days to get around the Earth. However as it does this, the Earth is moving. Therefore the Moon needs some extra time to get back to its original position with respect to the Earth and the Sun to complete its cycle of phases.

4. The first image ever seen of the far side of the Moon came from: (B) the Soviet Luna 3.
Here is humanity's first look at the far side of the Moon. The quality isn't great, but it's good enough to show that there isn't much cratering on the far side. That was quite a surprise.

5. The Moon's orbit isn't circular. The point where the Moon is at its closest to the Earth is called: (B) perigee.
Apogee is the most distant point in the lunar orbit. Aphelion is the most distant point in an orbit of the Sun, so it doesn't apply to the Moon.

6. The dark areas on the face of the Moon (the lunar maria) are: (A) basaltic rock that formed in ancient craters.
A heavy bombardment left the giant craters, and later in the Moon's history they were filled with lava which solidified into a dark basaltic rock.

7. The number of Apollo missions that landed people on the Moon is: (C) 6.
Many people aren't aware that there were so many manned missions to the surface of the Moon. There were six successful ones: Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17. Apollo 13 made it into lunar space, but had suffered an explosion that left them barely able to make it home alive.

8. Neil Armstrong was the first man on the Moon. The last one (so far!) was: (A) Gene Cernan.
Cernan was the Commander of Apollo 17. Harrison Schmitt was on the Moon with Cernan, but Cernan followed him into the lunar module.

10. The name of the Chinese lunar rover was: (C) Yutu (jade rabbit).
Chang'e is Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. Jade Rabbit's visit to the Moon was the first soft landing on the Moon in four decades. The program had a big following in China (and elsewhere), but technical problems left the mission incomplete. Provided with a Twitter account, Yutu's final tweet was “Good night, planet Earth. Good night, humanity.”

How did you do?
Did you get the answers right? If not, would you do better next time from what you've learned? Click on “Join the discussion” to comment, see what other people say, or find out what's new.



You Should Also Read:
The Sun the Moon the Calendar
Blood Moons and Lunar Tetrads
What Is a Supermoon

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