Environmental Science Classroom: Sun-Earth-Moon Perspective

Once in a while it is fun (and necessary) just to stand back and say, "Wow!"

This happens sometimes when we consider simple facts in a narrative that, when transposed into a graphic representation, alters our sense of perspective.

Consider the following.

The sun's diameter is about 870,000 miles.

The Earth's diameter is about 8,000 miles.

Therefore, the sun's diameter is about 109 Earth diameters.

The radius of the moon's orbit around the Earth is about 240,000 miles.

Here's the amazing (to me, at least) conclusion.  If the Earth were placed at the center of the sun, the moon would be orbiting a little more than half way out to the sun's surface. Consider the sun's size this the next time you see the moon in the night sky. And the sun is just a medium-sized star.

Sun-Earth-Moon Perspective. © 2013 Fred Montague

Sun-Earth-Moon Perspective. © 2013 Fred Montague