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Not far from Earth, at an average distance of 384,000 km., The Moon orbits, its only satellite. Because the diameter of the Moon with respect to that of our planet is just under 1/3, unusual for a satellite, some studies have hypothesized that the Earth-Moon system is a double planet. However, the diversity of composition does not support this idea and today it is mostly thought of in a capture process.
The plane of its orbit is inclined about 5 degrees with respect to the plane of the orbit that the Earth makes around the Sun. To make a complete turn in its orbit our satellite uses 27.3 days, the same time that the Moon uses to make a turn on its own axis. That is why the Moon always directs the same face towards Earth.
As the Moon revolves around the Earth, we see variable areas of its hemisphere illuminated by the Sun, which leads to that phenomenon known as lunar phases: New moon, crescent, full moon and waning quarter.
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