- The moon is far away from Earth – very, very far away.
- But don’t take our word for it: Scroll from the moon to the Earth yourself in a new interactive graphic.
- The graphic also reveals interesting satellites, historical events, and natural phenomena found along the way.
Sitting low on the horizon, a full moon sometimes look close enough to reach out and grab. But our worldly perceptions deceive us.
The airless chasm between Earth and the moon is so vast, stretching an average of 239,200 miles wide, that it’d take a 747 jet aeroplane flying at top speed more than 14 days to arrive. Even travelling at several thousand miles per hour, it took Apollo astronauts three days to arrive after launch. (Driving a car would take about a year.)
That’s an enormous stage for human spaceflight history, fleets of thousands of satellites, and strange natural phenomena.
Business Insider wanted to illustrate the scale of the Earth-moon distance, and all of the fascinating stuff in between, so we consulted dozens of sources to create the interactive graphic below. (Note: Best viewed on a laptop or desktop computer.)
Don’t get discouraged by how long it takes to scroll from the moon to the Earth – you’ll make it back home eventually – but if you want to skip ahead, click or tap the waypoints on the left side:
If nothing else, the graphic shows just how many objects and points of interest exist just a breath away from Earth.
This includes the demarcation between Earth and space itself, called the Karman Line. NASA and the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, the organisation for international aeronautical and astronautical record-keeping, recognise this line as the point where space begins, your aeronautic feats become astronautics, and you become an astronaut.
If you find this distance oppressive to navigate, then try scrolling through a to-scale virtual solar system where the moon is just 1 pixel large.
Sean Kane contributed to this post.
A previous version of this post misstated the travel time to the moon at the speed of a 747 jet aeroplane. We apologise to all future lunar adventurers for the error
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