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The distance from Earth to the Moon is not that easy

The distance from Earth to the Moon is not that easy

If you're wondering how far the Moon is from Earth, it's not easy to answer with a number. The actual distance from Earth to the Moon is constantly changing because Earth's satellite does not move in a circular orbit.

The distance from Earth to the Moon is 384,400 km on average. So it is sometimes closer and then farther. In addition, the Moon is constantly drifting away from Earth. Since Apollo 11 visited the Moon in 1969, the Moon has moved about 1.5 meters away from Earth.

This is how the phases of the moon affect us

How far is the moon from earth?

The distance from Earth to the Moon is usually given as an average value. Because the Moon is in an elliptical orbit around the Earth, there is a perigee and an apogee.

  • rock bottom: The closest point in the orbit. At the moon it is The shortest distance is 356,400 km.
  • Og:The furthest point from the body in its orbit. the The Moon's maximum apogee is 406,700 km.

the difference Between these two values ​​is incredible 50,300 km. If you say: “The distance from the Earth to the Moon is 384,400 kilometers,” this is just an average that only applies to a very limited period of time.

These distances are affected by a whole host of factors that make the calculation more complex. For example, there are always “perturbations in the orbit” of the Moon, but there are also moments when the Moon moves more slowly around the Earth because the Earth and the Moon are close to the Sun.

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Always the same side of the moon

By the way, when you look at the moon, you always see the same side of the moon. This phenomenon is somewhat unusual because not only does the Moon move around the Earth, but the Earth also rotates. One might expect that with all this rotation, the far side of the Moon would be visible at some point.

The explanation is called “restricted rotation”: the Moon moves around the Earth, but at the same time it rotates around itself, and this rotation is so synchronized with its orbit that it always faces us on the same side.

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