Differences between earth and the moon

New Delhi: Moon. (Photo: IANS/ISRO)

Moon has always evoked the imaginations of humans in several ways. Moon’s light is highly subdued than that of the sun. The moon changes its shape depending on its position in relation to the earth. As astral bodies, the earth and moon are highly different from each other. Here are some differences between the earth and the moon that will interest you.

  • The first and major difference between the earth and the moon is that the earth is a planet and moon is a satellite (the earth goes around the sun and the moon goes around the earth which is a planet). Majority of the planets do have satellites orbiting them. The earth has only one satellite. Some planets like Saturn and Jupiter have many moons for them.
  • The second obvious difference between the earth and the moon is that the moon is much smaller in size than the earth. The diameter of the moon is only one-fourth of that of the earth. Also, the mass of the moon is much lesser compared to that of the earth.
  • The earth’s atmosphere is multi-layered and very strong. The moon does not have strong atmosphere around it. Since there is no air around the moon, it is not capable of supporting life on it. If humans have to go on exploring the moon, they need to carry oxygen supply to be able to breathe and live on the moon’s surface. Because the earth is quite bigger in size, it is able to hold its atmosphere around it, whereas the moon’s smaller size is not good enough to retain any air around it.
  • The gravity or the puling power of the earth is six times more than that of the moon. So, if a person is weighed on the moon, he will weigh only one-sixth of his weight recorded on the earth. Similarly, when a man tries to jump on the moon, he will jump six times higher than how much he would be able to jump on the earth using the same energy. Nevertheless, the moon’s gravity is able to cause tides in the oceans.
  • The earth has about 70 percent of water on its crust. It also has an abundance of oxygen thanks to its multilayered atmosphere made of several gasses. The moon neither has oxygen nor water. It weak atmosphere does not support the formation of oxygen. Hence it remains a barren and lifeless astral body. However, the possibilities of finding water and ice on the moon are being explored by humans through several studies now.
  • The duration of one earth day is 24 hours made of 12 bright hours and 12 dark hours. The lunar day meaning the length of time that one side of the moon is exposed to the sun is about 14 earth days long and the lunar night meaning the amount of time one side of the moon is exposed to the sun is 14 earth days long.
  • The earth goes around the sun in its orbit and takes about 365 days to complete one circle around the sun. The moon goes around the earth completing one rotation around it in about 29 days and as the earth moves in its orbit around the sun, the moon also goes around the sun automatically being pulled with it all along by the earth. Hence the moon also completes one rotation around the sun at the same time the earth completes a circle around it.