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Australia is the sixth largest country on Earth and has an impressive diameter that stretches further than the moon’s width at 4,000km compared to the Moon’s diameter of 3474.8km. But this doesn’t mean Australia is bigger than the moon because its land mass is flat compared to the moon’s rounded body as its surface is 7,617,930 sq. km compared to the Moon’s surface area of 37,940,000 sq km.
Continue reading to discover how big Australia and the moon are, and compare the size of these two impressive masses.
How Big Is Australia?
Australia is the sixth largest country in the world, following Russia, Canada, China, the USA, and Brazil. This commonwealth country comprises mainland Australia plus Tasmania and several other smaller islands; this land has a total area of 7,617,930 sq. km.
The diameter of Australia, measuring from East to West, is 4000km, making it wider than the moon. Within this expansive continent is a collection of mountainous regions and ranges. The largest is the Great Dividing Range or the Eastern Highlands, which stretch 3,500km parallel to the East Coast.
Within the Great Dividing range lie the Australian Alps, a mountain range that is host to some of the highest peaks in the country, including Mount Kosciuszko, which is 2,228m high.
Fifty kilometers to the west of Sydney are the Blue Mountains, which are named for the blue haze filling the surrounding area. While these mountains are impressive, Australia has surprisingly few notable peaks considering its size. Instead, it has vast expanses of desert known as the Australian outback.
How Big Is The Moon?
We see the moon shining each evening; still, it is difficult to quantify precisely how large this celestial body is when we are so far away from it. The moon appears round, but like the Earth, it is not a perfect sphere. Instead, it is an oblate spheroid (or a slightly squashed ball).
Due to its shape, the diameter at the equator is larger than the measure from pole to pole. However, the difference – a tiny 4 kilometers – is pretty insignificant when we look at the overall size of the moon. The Moon’s equatorial diameter is 3,476km, or if we measure pole to pole, it is 3,472km.
Either way, the moon’s diameter is around 550km short of Australia’s. This doesn’t mean that Australia is bigger than the moon, though, because Australia is flat while the moon is a spherical shape.
When we look at the surface area, we see the moon is far bigger; the surface area of Australia is approximately 7,617,930 sq km, while the moon’s surface area is around 37,940,000 sq km, making it almost five times the size of Australia.
If you look at the moon, you’ll see a mixture of dark areas, representing the extensive flat lunar plains, and bright regions full of mountainous highlands. During early observations, scientists thought that the dark areas were full of water, but today we know that no liquid water is available on its airless surface.
On Earth, mountains form by volcanic or tectonic action. In contrast, the mountainous ranges on the moon formed almost exclusively from crater impacts. Here, mountains are labeled using their Latin names; montes (mountain ranges) and mons (individual mountains).
The two most significant mountain ranges are the northern Montes Caucasus and the southern Montes Apenninus; they separate the Sea of Serenity from the Sea of Showers. In the northwest, the Montes Alpes – or the lunar Alps – encase the Plato crater.
Among the most impressive single peaks on the moon are Mons Piton and Mons Pico. Mons Piton has a base diameter of 25 km and stretches 2,250m into the area. Mons Pico has a 15 km by 25 km base and a height of 2,400m. While these mountains are impressive, they are dwarfed by some of Earth’s mountain peaks, like Everest.
Are Any Continents Bigger Than The Moon?
The biggest continent on Earth is Asia. This land mass trumps the moon’s surface area, covering a total of 44,579,000 sq km – a third of the Earth’s total land mass! Asia has around six and a half million sq km more land than the moon.
Australia has a greater diameter than the moon, but this does not represent land mass and area. If we look at the overall size of the moon compared to Australia, we see that it is significantly bigger, possessing almost five times the land area of the southern country.
How big is Australia? (virtualoceania.net)
Mountain Ranges in Australia & Oceania: Guide To Mountains and Hikes (mountainiq.com)
Mountains on the Moon: How to See Them | Space