Tuesday, September 25

The Debunker: Can You See the Great Wall of China from the Moon?

by Ken Jennings

In honor of the late Neil Armstrong and the Apollo astronauts, we’ve asked Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings to run down some common misconceptions that lots of people still believe about the moon. Did you know it’s not even made out of green cheese? Science ruins everything.

Moon Myth #4: The Great Wall of China Is the Only Manmade Object Visible from the Moon.

This myth was always slightly silly. From the surface of the Moon, the Earth only looks about four times bigger than a full moon does to us, so that’s about the size of a jam jar lid held at arm’s length. The lunar explorers of the Apollo era described the Earth at that size as a brightly lit swirl of blue and white and brown—they had a tough time making out continents, much less a brown line only 30 feet wide. That would be like claiming to see a human hair from two miles away.

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