# The sun is bigger than the moon, but they appear to be about the same size when you look at them from Earth.?

Why is that????

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• Math
Lv 4

The moon may be WAY smaller, but the Sun is WAY farther away. The moon's radius is about 1737.10 km., and it's at an average distance of 397047.5 km ((apogee+perigee)/2). The sun's radius is about 695500 km, but is at a distance of 1496598261 km. This means that 695500/149600000 is about equal to 1737.10/397047.5 if they are appear to be the same size (based on some geometry). This is true because 695500/149598261 is about equal to .0046, and 1737.10/397047.5 is about .0044, which are almost equal. This would cause an annular solar eclipse, when the moon is a tad bit closer at pedigree, this would cause a total solar eclipse. This is why annulars are more common than total.

• nick s
Lv 6

Whoa. To glibly say the sun is bigger than the moon is like saying that an elephant is bigger than a fly.

Yes, the sun is about 400 times the diameter of the moon, but remember that in terms of volume that is 400x400x400 times bigger. Allowing for the fact that it is s little over 400 times the diameter of the moon, the sun is nearly 80 million times as big, same as an elephant would be about 80 million times bigger than a fly.

• Anonymous

The sun is 400 times bigger than the moon, but the moon is 400 times closer.

• Anonymous
4 years ago

they are not *precisely* an identical length, only approximately. each and every each and every now and then whilst the Moon eclipses the sunlight, it happens to be added from Earth than favourite, for that reason an annular eclipse is produced, which looks like a hoop of fireplace. different circumstances, the Moon covers only area of the sunlight in what's usually a partial eclipse. a entire photograph voltaic eclipse happens whilst the sunlight and Moon go paths completely, and the Moon is outwardly an identical length or larger than the sunlight's obvious length.

If you hold a quarter at arms length it is the same size as the sun or the moon.

It is pure coincidence.

The sun is simply roughly 400 times larger in diameter than the moon and 400 times further away. That is why they both subtend the same visual angle.

Nothing really fundamental causes this to be the case.

The other moon in the solar system which resembles this about as closely as possible (as viewed from its host planet) is Callisto, moon of Jupiter. Callisto appears about 70% the size of the sun as viewed from Jupiter.

• pc-5
Lv 6

Jupiter is bigger than Venus, but they appear to be about the same size when you look at them from Earth. Why is that ??

The Sun is much farther away than the Moon. About 150 million kilometers whereas the Moon is only 384000 kilometers away.