Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate)

Hello! I would like to ask you a question out of curiousity. I'm not much of an astonomer, amateur would probably best describe me! I'm not sure if you will know the answer to this question, I wasn't sure who to ask. My mother absolutely loves the moon and I had heard through a friend that people could purchase realstate on the moon? Is that true? Or is it an internet scam? If this is possible, is there a legitimate site to go to? I went to a few different ones and each one claims that they are the only ones that have legal rights to sell this realstate. Please help me out if you can! Thank you so much for your time and knowledge.

This is a common hoax, much like buying a star (see our previously answered question on that). Some people believe that there is a loop-hole in the Space Treaty, which says that no country can lay claim to bodies in space, but does no ban individuals from doing so - legally though it is considered that no-one can lay claim to the Moon, therefore any certificate you buy which claims that you own part of the Moon is not legally binding and should only be considered a novelty item.

For more information see this article from CNN or this one from Space.com.

About the Author

Karen Masters

Karen Masters

Karen was a graduate student at Cornell from 2000-2005. She went on to work as a researcher in galaxy redshift surveys at Harvard University, and is now on the Faculty at the University of Portsmouth back in her home country of the UK. Her research lately has focused on using the morphology of galaxies to give clues to their formation and evolution. She is the Project Scientist for the Galaxy Zoo project.

Twitter:  @KarenLMasters
Website:  http://icg.port.ac.uk/~mastersk/

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