Most people think the Moon is much closer to Earth than it actually is. In the video below, titled “How Far Away Is The Moon?”, Physicist Nick Lucid, also known as “The Science Asylum” talks about the distance between the Earth and the Moon, how the Earth-Moon distance is way bigger than most people think, and how our brains aren’t good at dealing with the big numbers.

The average distance between the Earth and the moon is 384,400 km (238,855 miles). But, astronomical distances are often difficult to imagine. Things like planets and stars are huge, but the distances between them are much, much bigger.

Video: Earth-Moon distance – How far away is the Moon?

How Far Away Is The Moon? You might feel like you’ve got a good grasp on how far away the Moon is, but you probably don’t. It looks a lot closer than it actually is. In fact, most things in outer space look closer than they actually are. You might even be overwhelmed by the true vastness and emptiness of space.

We evolved here on Earth, and for thousands of years, we just thought the Earth was also the Universe, or at least the most important and the biggest part of it. Our brains, our minds, have been adapted the life on Earth and the basic survival needs. So we can deal with the moderately sized objects which have moderate velocity, we can understand the small numbers like 1, 2, 50, we can conceptualize the small distances like two kilometers or the distance from our “cave” to the nearest river. But when the numbers and distances get bigger, like the distance between the Earth and the Moon, it becomes incredibly difficult to conceptualize. And the Moon is actually the nearest planetary body to us!

You might feel like you’ve got a good grasp on how far away the Moon is, but you probably don’t. It looks a lot closer than it actually is. In fact, most things in outer space look closer than they actually are. You might even be overwhelmed by the true vastness and emptiness of space.

Earth and Moon as seen by OSIRIS-REx. October 2, 2017.
Earth and Moon as seen by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. October 2, 2017. See how big the Earth-Moon distance actually is. The purpose of OSIRIS-REx spacecraft (the acronym for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) is to study, map and return samples for detailed analysis from asteroid 101955 Bennu, a carbon-rich hunk of rock that might contain organic materials or molecular precursors to life. It was launched on September 8, 2016, and the expected return date is September 24, 2023. If successful, OSIRIS-REx will be the first NASA spacecraft to return samples from an asteroid.
Earth-Moon distance: All the planets of the Solar System could fit in the distance between the Earth and the Moon
Earth-Moon distance: All the planets of the Solar System could fit in the distance between the Earth and the Moon, which is around 384,400 km (238,855 miles). Image: The Science Asylum on Youtube
M. Özgür Nevres
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