Out of all the planets in our solar system, Earth is the only one with a natural and permanent satellite- which we call the moon.
Some other planets have two moons, like Mars does, while others, like Jupiter, have way more- up to tens of moons. But even Jupiter doesn’t compare to Saturn; Saturn has an impressive 82 satellites orbiting around it.
The moon is the earth’s largest and brightest object in the night sky, which has led to human fascination (and worship) for centuries.
But just how large is it?
Although the moon is a natural satellite of Earth, it’s much smaller in size.
For perspective, if the moon sat on the surface of Earth, how much of our planet would it cover?
Also, how does the size of our moon compare to moons orbiting other planets in our solar system?
How big is the moon?
The moon is the fifth largest natural satellite in the solar system and is about a quarter the size of Earth. It has a diameter of 3,474 kilometers, making it just under 1,000 kilometers smaller than Pluto.
However, its surface area is only about one-twentieth that of Earth’s.
The moon orbits Earth at an average distance of 384,400 kilometers and completes one orbit every 27.3 days. It is thought to have formed around 4.5 billion years ago when a giant impactor collided with Earth.
The resulting debris eventually coalesced to form the moon.
Given its relatively small size and mass, the moon has a very weak gravitational field.
As a result, it has no atmosphere and very little water vapor. Its surface is also covered with a thick layer of dust, which is thought to be the result of billions of years of meteoritic bombardment.
How big is the moon compared to others in the solar system?
As you can see, the moon is not the largest natural satellite in our solar system; it falls behind four of Jupiter’s moons and Saturn’s moon Titan.
However, it is much larger than several of the other moons orbiting various planets, including Neptune’s Triton and Uranus’ Titania and Oberon.
In terms of size, the moon is most comparable to Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Rhea.
How big is the moon compared to the United States?
If the moon were placed on top of the United States, it would cover an area stretching from Los Angeles to New York City.
However, its diameter is only about one-fourth the size of the continental US (from coast to coast).
The moon’s surface area is also much smaller than that of the US; it could fit inside Alaska almost three times.
Overall, the moon is significantly smaller than the United States in both diameter and surface area.
How did we measure the large of the moon?
Scientists have used a variety of techniques to measure the moon’s size, including lunar laser ranging and radar measurements.
These methods involve bouncing lasers or radio waves off the moon’s surface and measuring the time it takes for them to return to Earth.
This allows scientists to calculate the distance between Earth and the moon, as well as determine its diameter from its angular size.
Another technique involves using spacecraft to take pictures and gather data on the moon’s surface, which can then be used to calculate its dimensions.
All these methods have helped contribute to our understanding of the moon’s size and shape.
How long would it take to walk around the moon?
The moon is a fascinating place. It’s vast and empty, yet it has a certain pull that compels us to explore it.
For many years, people have dreamed of walking on its surface. But how long would it take to walk around the entire circumference of the moon?
Assuming an average walking speed of 5 kilometers per hour, it would take about 694 hours, or 29 days, to walk around the entire circumference of the moon.
However, this is only possible in theory; in reality, the harsh conditions on the moon’s surface would make such a journey impossible.
The lack of air and water, as well as the extreme temperatures, would make it impossible for a human to survive for more than a few minutes outside of a space suit.
Therefore, while it is fun to think about walking on the moon, it is not something that is actually possible.
A moon is a big place. Its diameter is 3,474 kilometers, which is about 1/3 the diameter of Earth.
Its surface area is about the same as in Africa. And it has a mass of 7.35 x 10^22 kilograms, which is about 1/81 the mass of Earth.
In short, the moon is big enough to have a significant impact on the tides, the day-night cycle, and the length of a year.
But it’s not so big that it causes problems for Earth’s climate or rotates so slowly that it creates an extreme day-night cycle.
So while the moon may be a big place, it’s not so big that it poses a threat to life on Earth.