(Last updated On: might 23, 2019)

How much Does the Moon Weigh?

It weighs about zero pounds.

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Okay, that’s probably not the answer you to be expecting. Permit us to explain.

When you stand on a scale and weigh you yourself (in pounds), you actually acquisition a measure of force. Specifics the force your body is exerting downwards on the scale, due to Earth’s acceleration of gravity. If you remember Newton, force is same to one object’s mass multiplied by that acceleration (F=ma). The conventional unit because that mass is kilograms, i m sorry is also how human being weigh things basically all over that no America.

So weight is the pressure something exerts on one more thing due to gravity (like you exert ~ above Earth). If you’re right now taking a physics class, periodically you’ll watch it arranged as the pressure something exerts earlier on an additional thing due to gravity. But that’s much less intuitive in our opinion, so we’ll be stating weight in terms of the former.

For all intents and purposes, the Moon is not speeding up towards the planet (actually, it kind of is, however we’ll get to that). So, in the F=ma equation, F = 0 since a = 0. Since weight is a measure of force, weight = 0.

What Is the Moon’s Mass?

Because the Moon’s acceleration is 0, the worth of the mass becomes irrelevant once calculating the weight family member to Earth. But, you can be wondering just how much mass the Moon has? it is a well-known value. It’s about 7.35 * 10^22 kilograms.

That’s 73,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms. To put that into perspective, a blue whale is around 200 tons. That comes the end to 181,437 kilograms. This method that about 405,000,000,000,000,000 blue whales same the massive of the Moon. Suffice come say the Moon is heavy. Yet the Moon is only 1.2% the the earth mass (roughly 6*10^24 kg), so the Moon is actually super light in the cosmic plan of everything.

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Why does the Moon have Zero Acceleration?

We’ve already established that the Moon isn’t accelerating towards Earth, i beg your pardon is true come a degree. The factor why the Moon isn’t currently on a crash food towards planet is due to the fact that of that orbit.

It’s known that the Moon orbits approximately the Earth. We’ve put together a simplified diagram of just how orbits work-related below. In summary, the Moon is accelerating towards the Earth, but it also has forward momentum perpendicular come its acceleration towards the Earth.

Because these 2 vectors are about equal, the Moon ends up moving in the circular route outlined on the exact same diagram.

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Since one vector is momentum and also the various other is acceleration, the Moon will eventually (over the course of a very long time) stop orbiting the Earth. At some point its momentum may degeneration until Earth’s gravity is far greater, in which case the Moon will certainly collide through the Earth. Together it stands though, the Moon is actually gradually drifting far from Earth. Some theorize the instead, the Moon is actually destined to leave Earth’s gravity and drift off right into space.

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Of course, before any kind of of this happens, the sun will enter its red large phase. As it starts to expand about 5 billion year from now, it will swallow increase the terrestrial planets. And also the Moon will have actually the exact same unfortunate fate together Earth. So we’ve gained that going because that us. Which is nice.