What is the temperature on the Moon?

What is the temperature on the Moon? Our satellite is very inhospitable from an atmospheric point of view: the temperature range is irreconcilable with human life.

How many degrees are there on the Moon? Very many during the day and very few at night. To quantify exactly, it ranges from +130 degrees Celsius during the day to -140 degrees Celsius at night. The temperature range on the Moon, measured on its surface, is due to the lack of atmosphere, the protective layer on Earth that prevents the Sun from burning plants and animals during daylight hours and maintains the heat at night.

In practice, the lunar temperature fluctuates between boiling hot and absolute freezing depending on where the Sun is shining. In fact, it should be remembered that the Moon's rotation on its axis lasts 27 days. The hours of light on one side of the Moon last about 13 and a half days and darkness lasts the same.

What is the weather on the Moon?

On the Moon there are no seasons, because as mentioned above there is no atmosphere. In fact, a NASA mission called LACE (Lunar Atmospheric Composition Experiment) has revealed traces of methane, carbon dioxide, helium, ammonia and argon in the lunar atmosphere, albeit very thin.

In 2017, a statement from the U.S. space agency confirmed, "Research conducted by Debra Needham, a planetary volcanologist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, and planetary scientist David Kring, of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, suggests that billions of years ago the Moon did in fact have an atmosphere.

The ancient lunar atmosphere was thicker than Mars' atmosphere today and was probably capable of altering rocks and producing windstorms. Probably more importantly, it could be a partial, if not total, cause of the water found on the Moon." This would explain the discoveries of icy areas on the Moon revealing some kind of "water life cycle" on Earth's sandy satellite.

"When the rays of the Sun hit the lunar surface they warm it up to about +260 degrees Fahrenheit, vice versa when our star sets, the temperatures drop to -280 degrees Fahrenheit"

Moon day and Earth day

In any case, going back to the initial statement, on the Moon there are no seasons as we are used to know them on our planet and not only for the difference of atmospheres, but also for the different inclinations of the axis. The Earth tilts on an axis of about 23.44 degrees and this axial inclination, while our planet orbits around its star, the Sun, means that different areas of the Earth are heated differently. That is why when it is summer in the northern hemisphere (boreal), it is winter in the southern hemisphere (austral).

On the Moon instead the situation is completely different, because the satellite tilts on its axis of about 1.54 degrees: in practice the Moon is almost upright and has no seasonal variation. Nevertheless, its inclination makes that there are areas, at the poles of the Moon, constantly in shadow and never touched by daylight. The rotation on the axis, as mentioned, has a different duration than the Earth, so that a single lunar day lasts about two Earth weeks.

What was the temperature on the Moon in the landing of the astronauts?

At this point, questions may arise about how it was possible to land on the Moon, with the Apollo missions, in such extreme conditions from the environmental point of view. Such doubts have been ridden by the conspiracy theory that the moon landing was a historical fake. Now, without taking into account the fact of the protection provided to the astronauts by the space suit and helmet, it must be said that the mission managers carefully studied the landing plan.

In particular, the men who walked on the Moon, starting with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin of Apollo 11 (year 1969), did so in safe conditions. The areas chosen for the moon landing were close to the area known as the 'terminator', i.e. close to the demarcation line between night and day, and the time when the walks were authorized was shortly after local dawn, when temperatures were mild enough not to 'roast' the crews.