Story: Night sky

Features of the moon

Features of the moon

This is a view of the moon as it is seen from New Zealand. The dark areas are vast lava plains known as seas, and the light patches are elevated regions pockmarked with large craters. Some traditional interpretations of the moon's features are that the dark patches resemble a man's face or a rabbit. Māori people thought the features represented Rona and the tree and container of water she was clutching when she was plucked up from earth after she cursed the moon.

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How to cite this page:

John Field and Maggy Wassilieff, 'Night sky - Earth’s near neighbours', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 May 2022)

Story by John Field and Maggy Wassilieff, published 12 Jun 2006