Is Australia wider than the moon?


Australia is wider than the moon.




Using the moon’s diameter (3,476 km) as a benchmark, Australia (about 4,000 km) is actually wider. But the land area of ​​the moon is much larger than the continent.

One claim we’ve encountered repeatedly on social media claims to compare the width of the Australian continent to that of the moon. “Australia is wider than the moon” is this popular trifle.

This example was posted on Twitter:

Tweet claims Australia is wider than Earth's moon

Comparing objects in the solar system with those on our planet is not uncommon. The size of celestial objects has been a hobby or even a matter of research for many people.

How accurate is the claim?

Australia, an island continent, is the sixth largest country after Russia, Canada, China, the United States and Brazil. Its total land area is 7.69 million square kilometers. The country’s population of 25.69 million is smaller than California’s of 39.24 million.

So how does Australia compare to Earth’s satellite, the moon?

According to NASA, the equatorial diameter of the moon is 3,476 km (2,159 miles), whereas Australia’s latitude from east to west is almost 4,000 km (2,485 miles). This actually makes Australia wider than the moon, but not by much. Also, we must take into account that the shape of the moon is spherical. This is an important distinction. Think of the moon as a sphere, a three-dimensional object, while the island continent is like a two-dimensional surface.

While Australia’s total land area is 7.69 million square kilometers, as mentioned above, the lunar surface is 37.94 million square kilometers (14.65 million sq mi). (One square mile equals 2.59 square kilometers; 1 square kilometer = 0.3861 square miles.)

The tweet only made a brief claim: the continent is wider than the moon. Therefore, based on the specific wording of the claim in the tweet, Australia is wider than the moon. However, if we consider the total land area of ​​the satellite, then it is much larger than the continent.


Australia, c\=AU\;o\=Australian Government\;ou\=Earth Sciences. Territory of Australia – states and territories. May 15, 2014,

—. Australia’s size in comparison. May 15, 2014,

—. Continental extremities. May 15, 2014,

“By Numbers | Moon of Earth.” NASA Solar System Exploration, accessed March 29, 2023.

Moon Fact Sheet. Retrieved March 28, 2023. Is Australia wider than the moon?

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