The moon is the easiest celestial object to find in the night sky - when it is there. The Earth's only natural satellite hovers above us, bright and round, until it apparently disappears for a few nights.
The phases of the moon and the orbit of the moon are mysteries to many. For example, the moon always shows us the same face. This happens because it takes 27.3 days to rotate on its axis and orbit the Earth. We see the full moon, half-moon, or no moon (new moon) because the moon reflects the sunlight. The amount we see depends on the position of the moon in relation to the Earth and the sun.
The moon is the closest cosmic neighbor to the earth, but it is more than just a big, beautiful light in the sky. The moon is not round (or spherical). Instead, it is shaped like an egg. If you go out and look up, one of the little points is pointing at you.
Children's fairy tales tell us that the moon is made of cheese, but like all bodies in the solar system, rock is the most realistic ingredient. The moon's surface is covered with dead volcanoes, impact craters, and lava flows, some of which are visible to the star observer unaided.