How Far Away Is the Moon?

You might be surprised.

Often when we see drawings of the Earth and the Moon, they look really close together.

Cartoon of the Moon and Earth saying hello to eachother.

Don’t be fooled! They’re actually really far apart. The Moon is an average of 238,855 miles (384,400 km) away. How far away is that? That’s 30 Earths.

The Moon is 30 Earths away.

Average distance?

Why mention the average distance? Well, the Moon is not always the same distance away from Earth. The orbit is not a perfect circle.

When the Moon is the farthest away, it’s 252,088 miles away. That’s almost 32 Earths. When it's closest, the Moon is 225,623 miles away. That’s between 28 and 29 Earths.

So far apart!

The Moon and Earth are very far apart.

The Moon definitely seems close because we can see it so well without a telescope,

A cartoon of themoon saying that it's lovely.

but remember, it’s farther away than most people realize!

The Moon in the distance saying, I'm over here!

Related Resources for Educators

Distance to the Moon (Educator Guide)
Launchpad: Moon Magic

article last updated July 23, 2021
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