Looking Closer at the Moon

When you see the Moon in the sky at night, it looks smooth and white. And for thousands of years, that's what everyone thought the Moon was really like. No one had ever seen the Moon up close.

The Moon looks very different through a telescope. It isn't smooth at all. When early scientists first saw the mountains and craters on the Moon, they were very surprised.

They saw darker areas of the Moon, too. Some thought these might be oceans or seas. They didn't know there was no water on the Moon.

When astronauts finally landed on the Moon, it didn't look white. It was grayish-brown and covered with dust. And, of course, there was no water.

The astronauts explored the surface of the Moon and did experiments to find out more about how the Moon was formed. They even brought back moonrocks to study, so that scientists on Earth—and you, too—can look even closer at what the Moon is made of.


A telescope is a tool that helps people see things that are far away. Telescopes are made of curved pieces of glass or mirrors inside a tube. People can use them to look at stars.

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  1. What is the surface of the Moon like?
    [anno: The surface of the Moon has mountains and craters and is covered with grayish-brown dust.]
  2. What did the astronauts bring back from the Moon?
    [anno: The astronauts brought moonrocks back from the Moon.]
  3. Would you like to travel to the Moon? Why or why not?
    [anno: Answers will vary.]