Q:

Is the moon bigger than the Earth?

A:

Quick Answer

The moon is not bigger than the Earth as it has a diameter of approximately 2,159 square miles, which is about one-quarter of the size of Earth. In addition to being smaller than the Earth, the moon is much lighter. It weighs approximately 80 times less than Earth, but what it lacks in density, the moon makes up for in luminosity.

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Is the moon bigger than the Earth?
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Full Answer

The moon orbits the Earth in a continuous circular orbital pattern. It circles the moon on a monthly basis, and its path across the sky can be observed in several phases, including the new moon and full moon. The moon circles the Earth on a predetermined path and is kept in orbit by the forces of gravity. As the moon progresses across the sky, the angles between it, the sun and the Earth change. This change in angle creates the various phases of the lunar cycle. Although the moon is small in comparison to Earth, it is considered to be a relatively large celestial body in comparison to other planets in the solar system. Its size makes the moon classifiable as a terrestrial planet, which is a category shared by Mars, Mercury and Venus. The moon was first visited by astronauts in 1959 when the Soviet Union successfully landed the Luna 2 on the surface of the moon.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How long does it take the moon to orbit the Earth?

    A:

    The Earth's moon takes 27 Earth days to completely orbit the Earth. A day on the moon is also equal to a little over 27 days on Earth.

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  • Q:

    How fast does the moon orbit the Earth?

    A:

    The moon orbits the Earth at approximately 2,288 miles per hour and completes one full orbit every 27.322 days. Additionally, the moon takes approximately 27 days to complete one full rotation on its own axis, called its rotational period, which closely matches its orbit around Earth.

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  • Q:

    How does the moon affect the Earth?

    A:

    The main way the moon affects the Earth is the tides. The moon plays an important role in protecting the Earth from space rocks, such as meteorites. More subtle effects of the moon include minor effects on climate, the heat of the crust and the speed of the Earth's rotation.

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  • Q:

    Why does the same side of the moon always face Earth?

    A:

    Though the moon does rotate around its axis, the speed with which it completes these revolutions match the amount of time it takes to orbit around the Earth, leading the same side to be faced toward Earth at all times. This process takes a about month, meaning the moon's days are as long as an Earth month.

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