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What Would It Look Like if the Moon was Much Closer?

moon-riseWe’ve shown some amazing moonrise timelapse images to you before, but nothing quite like this. The fictional video shows a scenario where the moon was actually orbiting around the earth at a much closer range than now, similar to the distance of the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS has a low orbit nearly 230 miles up, while the moon normally travels about 239,000 miles away from Earth.

So what would the moon look like if it was the same distance as the ISS?

Interestingly, since the moon would be orbiting much faster than the earth rotates (the ISS takes about 90 minutes to make the round trip), it would no longer rise in the east and set in the west to us, but vice versa instead. In reality, though, if the moon was inside what is known at the Roche limit (or radius), the Earth’s gravitational pull would break the moon apart, likely forming a system of rings, which in turn would send the earth’s rotation out of whack and potentially destroy the planet in the process!

So despite the amazing view, I think we all like the moon right where it’s at.
 
via petapixel

   
 
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