The Moon shining brightly in the night sky looks really big as compared to all the other stars twinkling beyond. Is this an illusion or is the Moon really big? Perceiving the Moon to be big by looking at it is not a real measure of the Moon’s actual size. What we see is actually a deception. The Moon looks bigger than all the stars we see because it is much closer to the Earth. Stars are thousands of light years away and hence look smaller, even though some may be many times bigger than the Moon. How big is the Moon – the figures below give the actual measurements.
Actual Dimensions of the Moon
The Moon is spherical body with a diameter 3476 kilometers (2160 miles). It has a total volume of 2.195 × 1010 km3. The surface area of the Moon is 37,932,000 km2 (14,658,000 miles2, which is approximately 9.4 billion acres. The Moon has a mass of 7.347 x 1022 kg.
These figures are the actual measurements of the Moon. These however are mere numbers. How do you translate these into something that you can perceive in terms of the actual size of the Moon? Let us compare it to Earth to get an idea how these numbers translate into an object.
Size comparison between Earth and Moon
The Earth’s diameter is 12,742 km (7,918 mi) which is almost 4 times that of the Moon. The Moon’s volume looks like a daunting figure. But factually it is a mere 2% of the Earth’s volume. The surface area of Asia alone is 44,000,000 km2, which is more than the total surface area of the Moon. The Moon’s mass is minisicule as compared to the mass of the Earth. It is estimated that 81 spheres the size of the Moon would be needed to match the mass of the Earth.
According to these figures and comparisons, the Moon is not very big. It is definitely smaller than the Earth around which it revolves.