It can get confusing trying to understand whether the moon is a star or a planet. After all, the solar system has all kinds of objects, from planets, to stars, to moons and galaxies (which are made up of moons). Each of these are extremely unique and much of the world is still unknown to us, namely because it is extremely difficult to travel to each corner or the solar system to try and find out more about them.

And although we do know quite a bit about the moon, the sun, and the planets in our solar systems, it is still sometimes difficult to think about whether the moon is a planet or a star because of the various requirements set out by the International Astronomical Union in regards to the properties of each. So, in this article, get ready to learn all about what components must be present for an entity to be considered a planet, and how it differs from a star.

Is the Moon a Planet?

Do you know what a planet is? Maybe you have a general idea, but do you know what three requirements need to be met for an item in the solar system to be named a planet?

Here they are: first, they have to orbit around a certain sun. Second, they need to be large enough to be round-ish in shape, which is called “hydrostatic equilibrium”. The final requirement is that it needs to have moved objects in its trajectory – meaning it is large enough to be taking more space and therefore to be moving things in its way. The moon doesn’t orbit around any sun, so it does not make it a planet, according to these requirements!

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So, Is the Moon a Star?

Unlike planets, stars are forces. They are giant: even bigger than planets, and they have no solid matter. Instead, they are made up of helium and hydrogen, and they are extremely full of energy. For example, the sun is over 100 times larger than the earth and it has numerous items (i.e. planets, among other things) that orbit around it. The moon doesn’t have this – first, it’s very small and it has no planets or objects floating (i.e. orbiting) around it. So, it is not a star! So, what is it then, if it is not a star or a moon?

It is simply a satellite object that is floating around in the solar system! The moon was formed over billions of years ago from what is believed to be debris that originated from a collision between Earth and another planet (or another item that looks like a planet). The moon could then be assumed to be a planet, but we have already established that it is not. The moon is made up of a core that is rich in iron and a ton of other minerals that are found on Earth, which is why scientists believe that it was formed after a collision with the Earth!

Ultimately, it may be an underwhelming answer, but the answer to our question, is the moon a star, is no! It’s just a satellite object. Were you surprised to learn this?

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