Q:

What is the difference between the Earth and the moon?

A:

Quick Answer

One of the many differences between the Earth and the moon is simply that the Earth is a planet and the moon orbits the Earth as its satellite. The Earth's circumference is 24,873.6 miles, while that of the moon is 6783.5 miles.

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What is the difference between the Earth and the moon?
Credit: Apollo 8 crewmember Bill Anders (NASA) Other

Full Answer

A day is much shorter on Earth than on the moon. The length of a day on the Earth is 24 hours, while the length of a day on the moon is equal to slightly over 27 Earth days. The Earth is significantly larger than the moon. Its surface area is equal to 196,936,994 square miles, while the surface area of the moon is 14,647,439.75 square miles. The moon has more extreme temperatures than does the Earth. The minimum temperature on the moon is -387 degrees Fahrenheit, but the minimum temperature on Earth is a somewhat warmer -126 degrees Fahrenheit. The maximum moon temperature is 253 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to the highest Earth temperature of 136 degrees Fahrenheit. Surface gravity is more than six times stronger on the Earth than on the moon. The moon has no atmosphere and practically no water, while the Earth has both. While the Earth has abundant life, the moon has no life. The Earth is in a constant state of change from both the life living on the planet and the Earth's atmosphere and water features. The moon does not change much at all, and any change comes from forces outside of the moon.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why are we able to see different phases of the moon?

    A:

    The moon orbits around the Earth on a 29 day cycle. Half of the moon is always lit by the sun's rays but different amounts of this illumination can be seen from Earth depending on the angle the moon makes with the sun relative to the Earth.

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  • Q:

    Why is the moon called a natural satellite?

    A:

    A moon is considered a natural satellite because it orbits around a planet. A natural satellites is any celestial object that orbits around another larger object.

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  • Q:

    How big is the moon?

    A:

    Earth's sole natural satellite, the moon, has a circumference of 6,783.5 miles around its equator. Its surface area is 14,647,439.75 square miles, which is approximately 0.07 times that of the Earth.

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  • Q:

    What is the purpose of the moon?

    A:

    The gravitational pull of the moon controls the rise and fall of tides on Earth and slows the planet's rotation, while the phases of the moon serve as calendar markers for human beings. High tides occur on the portion of the Earth closest to the moon and the portion farthest away. Low tides occur between those two points.

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