“Thou reigning Beauty of the Night,
Fair Queen of Silence Silver Moon,
Whose gentle gentle Beams and borrow’d Light
Are softer Rivals of the Noon.”
—Isaac Watts; Sun, Moon and Stars, Praise Ye the Lord; 1742
The Moon is the second-brightest object in our sky after the Sun, but unlike the Sun, the Moon does not glow by itself but is only visible when illuminated by the Sun. The Moon is Earth’s sole natural satellite, a roundish mass orbiting Earth. It takes the Moon about thirty days to reappear in the same position again when observed from Earth and we accordingly use the Moon’s orbit around Earth to calculate our months.
The darker areas on the Moon’s surface are lunar plains consisting of solidified lava pools and the brighter areas are lunar highlands. There are also darker and brighter spots on the Moon’s surface. These are craters caused by collisions with asteroids and comets.