posted on May, 30 2011 @ 10:51 AM
The temperature on the Moon ranges from daytime highs of about 120°C = 248°F to nighttime lows of about -110°C, -170°F.
The moon's gravitational force is only 17% of the Earth's gravity. For example, a 100 pound (45 kg) person would weigh only 17 pounds (7.6 kg) on
The moon has no atmosphere. On the moon, the sky is always appears dark, even on the bright side (because there is no atmosphere).
Of course those above temperatures are for the moon's 'surface' temperatures, and since the moon has no atmosphere the temperatures off of the
surface have nothing to radiate so it is hard to determine what 4 feet off of the surface would feel like to exposed skin, exposed skin on the moon
would be directly related to the angle of solar rays and length of exposure to solar rays, would grow hot in the sun and very cold with no sun but by
no means the same temperature as the moon surface.
The surface temperature of the Moon varies considerably with location and the relative position of the Sun. Unlike geologically active bodies, the
Moon no longer has an internal heat source, so heating comes almost entirely from the Sun (at night the lunar surface is warmed slightly by Earth).
With no atmosphere and a surface made up almost entirely of rocky materials with low thermal conductivity and relatively low heat capacity, during the
lunar day the surface temperature quickly reaches equilibrium with incoming solar radiation.
For a surface with the sun directly overhead, for example a horizontal region near the equator at lunar noon, without all of the Stefan-Boltzmann
equation complexities, the maximum surface temperature on the moon can reach 120ºC, or 248ºF. When the sun's not directly overhead whether you are
at the equator during lunar morning or evening, near the poles, or looking at a rock face sharply angled to the horizontal, the surface temperature
will be lowered because the same solar energy is spread over a larger area.
For an angle of 30 degrees, (maximum temperature for a horizontal surface at latitude 30 degrees N or S, or equatorial temperature at roughly plus or
minus two Earth days from lunar "noon"), expected temperature is about 107º C, 224.6ºF. At 60 degrees, the temperature is still 58ºC, 136.4ºF.
At 75 degrees we reach about 8ºC, 46.4ºF. At 85 degrees the equilibrated temperature drops to -59ºC, -74ºF. During the night the surface
temperature drops further as the rocks radiate away the energy they've absorbed during the day time, with regions near the lunar equator dropping to
about -150ºC, -238ºF.
At the lunar poles there are believed to be regions which never receive direct sunlight. If they don't receive significant warming from higher
elevation surfaces that are in direct sunlight, they would be equilibrated only with the thermal background radiation of deep space at -270ºC,
Last October 9, a small NASA rocket slammed into a 60-mile-wide crater named Cabeus, a permanently shadowed dent very close to the lunar south pole.
The extreme heat of the collision caused grains of water ice and other substances that had been frozen for billions of years to vaporize. A larger
spacecraft followed a few minutes later to sniff the vapor cloud and send measurements back to Earth before itself crashing into the lunar surface.
Preliminary findings from the mission—called LCROSS, for Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite—show that at the impact site water may
account for about 5 percent of the lunar crater’s soil by weight, says Anthony Colaprete, principal investigator. That is as dry as the driest
deserts on Earth, yet still far wetter than most scientists expected.