Explore! Marvel Moon

Marvel Moon Background Information

Cultures throughout the centuries have created stories about the night's brightest visitor and occasional companion of the daytime Sun. Scientists now study the Moon because it records the history of our early solar system — and Earth — and it will play a pivotal role in our future exploration of the solar system.

The Moon’s Formation and Evolution
The Moon’s Role in Our Lives


Note: External resources are not necessarily 508 compliant.

Lunar Science and Exploration
  • Marvel Moon was funded by the Institute for Science of Exploration Targets node of the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute located at Southwest Research Institute.
  • Center for Lunar Science and Exploration
    The Lunar and Planetary Institute offers a wealth of lunar resources. This NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) site has compiles existing lunar images, data, and studies. Visit the Lunar Map Catalog to find a number of lunar maps. This site is suitable for children 12 and up.
  • 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast, The Origins of the Moon
    Lunar scientist Bill Bottke from the Southwest Research Institute discusses the history of the Moon in this July 28, 2010 podcast. He describes older theories of the Moon's formation and summarizes the current scientific understanding of our Moon's ancient history. Appropriate for the facilitator and ages 14+.
  • 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast, The Late Heavy Bombardment — Was It Real?
    Planetary geologist Emily Lakdawalla explores what Moon rocks tell us about the Moon’s early history in this May 10, 2010 podcast. Appropriate for the facilitator and ages 14+.
The Moon’s Appearance in the Sky
  • MyMoon: World Tales of the Moon
    There are hundreds of stories about the Moon and its appearance; some are sacred myths, and others are folktales old and new shared for the simple joy of the tale. This site offers links to several stories from across the globe. Appropriate for ages 8 and up.
  • The Vanishing Sun: Eclipse Tales from Around the World
    These 10 multi-cultural folktales are available in audio, with one story presented as video with captioning and an ASL translator.
  • Fourmilab Switzerland
    An interactive site created by John Walker that allows you to view the Moon from Earth, our Sun and the night side. It also gives descriptions and details of lunar formations. This site is suitable ages 10 and up.
Urban Legends about the Moon
  • Mythbusters Results, Mythbusters Episode 104: NASA Moon Landing
    Appropriate for ages 12 and up, the facilitator, and parents.
  • May 8, 2010 365 Days of Astronomy pocast: "How Lunar Cycles Affect Wildlife"
    A naturalist, a science educator, and a conservation biologist discuss the affect of the full Moon on wildlife. Appropriate for the facilitator and parents.
  • The Skeptics Dictionary, "Full Moon and Lunar Effects"
    Appropriate for the facilitator and parents.
  • Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy: Yes, We Really Did Go to the Moon!
    Appropriate for the facilitator and parents.


These presentations by NASA scientists are intended to provide background information for program providers. These external resources are not necessarily 508 compliant.

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