How big is the Moon compared to the Sun and Earth?

by Wayne Boyd

This is an interesting question. I’m going to answer it with illustrations.

In answer to “How big is the Moon compared to the Sun and Earth?” I’m going to give you some illustrations that will put all of this into perspective. First, let’s look at a comparison of our Moon with Pluto and other dwarf planets in our solar system. Here’s a picture to illustrate.

So here you can see our Moon is quite large! In fact, it’s so large, it’s bigger than all of the known dwarf planets in our solar system, including Pluto!

Even though the Moon is bigger than Pluto, it’s not big compared to Earth. Here’s the comparison of that.

So the moon is relatively small compared to our big Earth. But when you bring the Sun into the mix, then you have to understand that Earth itself is not very big. In fact, the Sun is so big it dwarfs even Jupiter. Here’s the image of that comparison:

So to sum up, our Moon is big compared to Pluto and other dwarf planets in our solar system, but small compared to Earth. Earth itself is like a pebble of sand compared to the size of our Sun. Fortunately for us, the sun is also a long way away, and therefore looms the same relative size as the Moon in our sky.

I hope that sheds some light on the subject! Thanks for asking a cool question.

How would humanity react if there was a giant drawing of Pluto the dog on Pluto the dwarf planet? Would people pay much attention?

Probably! Especially since Pluto was not named after the dog Pluto, but after the Roman god of death, Pluto, since it was farthest from the sun and therefore considered to be very cold. Pluto used to be considered a planet, rather than a dwarf planet, and historically the planets were named after Greek Gods.

As for Pluto and dogs, Pluto has a few moons, one of which is named after a dog. Kerberos is named after the multi headed dog who is supposedly guarding the entrance to the underworld (in Greek mythology).

Here’s Pluto and it’s moons.

What are the similarities and differences between planets and dwarf planets?

A dwarf planet is usually a spherical body resembling a small planet.

Objects in space are round because of their gravity. If they aren’t big enough, they don’t have enough gravity to crush them into ball shape. This asteroid, which came from outside our solar system system recently, looks like a big slab.

So both planets and dwarf planets are round. Asteroids not so much.

The difference is that planets clear the path around the sun, drawing in all nearby objects. Dwarf planets live their lives without clearing everything out of the way (they do clear some stuff, and that’s why there are craters on Pluto.) As such, dwarf planets tend to dwell in asteroid belts.

The thing about Pluto is that there are similar sized objects floating all around out there, so either you’re going to have to name hundreds of new planets or just have eight. All of the dwarf planets are smaller than our smallest planet, Mercury as the image below shows.

Eris is larger than Pluto. It’s part of the asteroid belt orbiting the sun. In fact, Pluto is so small, it is smaller than our moon as you can see below.

So the similarity of the planets and the dwarf planets are they are both mostly round because they have sufficient gravity to flatten their own surfaces into a sphere. The differences are that planets are big enough to clear the whole region of space where they orbit the sun whereas dwarf planets do not.

Star Trek and Pluto

It’s round. Big enough that it’s own gravity makes it a sphere rather than a lump of coal or a cube or some other oddly shaped object. If you were on the Star Trek Enterprise, went into orbit around this object and looked outside your view screen, this is what you’d see. You have arrived at the Planet Pluto.
Or have you?
Astronomers who “decided” Pluto wasn’t a planet but a dwarf planet, have not only disappointed generations of mankind, but were wrong.
They were wrong because a dwarf planet is still a planet, as much as a dwarf star is still a star. Indubitably.

Many people don’t know that our sun is a dwarf star. There are two kinds of dwarf stars: yellow dwarfs and the more common red dwarfs. Our sun is a yellow dwarf. Still a star, just a dwarf star. 

So just because our sun is a dwarf star doesn’t mean it’s not a star. Therefore just because Pluto is now labeled a dwarf planet orbiting around in the Kuiper Belt doesn’t mean Pluto no longer exists or that it’s s not a planet.
Another example:
Dwarf people are people. Black, white, Muslim, Hindu, Christian people. They’re all people. The operating word is the noun not the adjective. Dwarf is the adjective. Planet is the operating word. Pluto is a planet.
Proof positive. Q.E.D. Enough said. Point made. De facto verum. Just look outside at the object in the view screen. Gather the away team. We’re beaming down to the planet’s surface.