PhysicsLAB Lab
Determining the Distance to the Moon

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The Greeks used the properties of ratios of sizes to distances in order to calculate the distance of the Moon. Knowing the size of the moon, they noticed that a thumb nail at arms length just covers the Moon.
 
 
Measure the length of your out-stretched arm from your eye to your thumb in centimeters. 

Measure the length of your thumb nail in centimeters. 

Based on the diameter of the moon calculated in the previous activity, The Size of the Moon, set up a ratio of corresponding parts of two similar right triangles so that you can determine the distance from the Earth to the Moon. 

If the actual distance from the Earth to the Moon is 3.844 x 102 Mm, calculate a percent error against your previous answer. 




 
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