What if the Moon Orbited at the Same Height as the ISS?
One of the fun things to do with astronomy (and science in general) is to imagine what it would be like if things were different. For example, right now the Moon orbits the Earth at an average distance of about 384,000 kilometers (238,000 miles). Even though that makes it the nearest astronomical object in the Universe, that’s still pretty far—a four-day ride in a space capsule, for example.
But what if it were closer? YouTube user “yeti dynamics” (real name: Nick) is an animator who created a fantastic video showing what it would look like from Earth if the Moon orbited us as the same distance as the International Space Station. The results are pretty amazing! Make it hi-res and fullscreen for the full effect.
Right off the bat, let me give my kudos to the animator! That was very well done, very realistic looking, and—my favorite bit—really cool, so it’s likely to grab people’s attention and get them thinking about the Moon and space.
And given its intent (just showing what it would look like, without any extrapolation on the physics), it’s pretty accurate, too. Indulge me while I dabble in some (fun) math.