The Moon, the most easily studied object in the night sky, is also the only extraterrestrial place that any humans have travelled to.
The Moon is heavily cratered, the sterile near vacuum of the it's surface preserving even ancient impact sites as if they had only just occurred. The exact age of the moon is hard to determine, but is believed to be around 4.5 billion years. Temperature on the moon can vary from -279°F (-173°C) to 242°F (116°C). According to scientists, the Moon was formed long ago by a large meteor of some sort crashing into Earth. The debris that flew off into space was caught in Earth's gravitational pull and became our moon.
Here on Earth, we can only see one side of the Moon, as it rotates on its axis at the same speed that it revolves around us. Therefore, the same side is always facing at us, with the other side (the famously referred to "dark side of the moon") perpetually pointing into the heavens. Also, the Moon is responsible for the tides on Earth by pulling on the water with its own gravitational pull.
Humans have long been inspired by the satellite, so it is unsurprising that it has been featured in a number of games, although rarely in a realistic manner.
There are eight different lunar phases. Each phase peaks at a different time. The peak time refers to the time that the moon is highest in the sky. The difference between each peak time is 3 hours, and the moon changes phases every 3 days. As is the case with the sun, the moon rises in the east and sets in the west. Waning means the sun is losing light, waxing means the sun is gaining light.
- Full Moon - Peak Time: 12:00 AM
- Waning Gibbous - Peak Time: 3:00 AM
- Half Moon - Peak Time: 6:00 AM
- Waning Quarter - Peak Time: 9:00 AM
- New Moon - Peak Time: 12:00 PM
- Waxing Quarter - Peak Time: 3:00 PM
- Half Moon - Peak Time: 6:00 PM
- Waxing Gibbous -Peak Time: 9:00 PM
- Full Moon -Peak Time: 12:00 AM
In Video Games
The Moon can be seen in the skybox as simple night time decoration in many video games. In those games where it plays a more notable role, the moon is often a sinister being, one that wishes nothing more than to see the end of man.
The orbiting ball of spite in the sky has been fed up with its constant circling around our rock, and it would love nothing more than to see our demise at its metaphorical hands. It has attempted to crush the world of Termina with its immense bulk in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and its passing has signified the coming of great beings of power that wish to devour mankind.
There have been those brave enough to attempt fighting back against this menacing beast. Those brave few who have attempted to tame this vile rock include Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik, Scrooge McDuck, and Sackboy.
In most games, the moon serves no real purpose and just sits in the sky. Some games, however, have allowed players to explore the moon. Mass Effect, for example, has a side quest where the player must land on the Moon and locate a military base where they are to destroy a rogue virtual intelligence.
In Portal 2, moon rocks are excellent portal conductors and terribly poisonous. Aperture Science ground them up and made "conversion gel", which, when spread on a surface, allows one to place a portal on it.