How many Moons does Earth have?Immeng87 - 6 Answers
Hello there Immeng87
By most popular conceptions of what a moon is, has one moon, we know it well and have landed on its surface a handful of times! However, in 1986, Earth was found in reality to have what appears to be a second natural satellites (i.e. moon), with the second one often being regarded as being much less popular or well-known, and it lacks as clearly observable of an orbit as the moon we all know and love! This second moon is called "Cruithne". It is roughly three miles across (diameter), and is believed to have been acquired as an asteroid that had a nearby orbit which eventually intersected that of our planet!
Cruithne does not, however, have a standard elliptical orbit around our planet and it it somewhat erratic, in part due to it's size and distance from the earth, giving the Sun a more powerful influence over Cruithne at times that the Earth does. It's orbit has been described in many difficult to describe shapes, but it generally preforms a "pseudo-orbit" with the earth, appearing to actually be more 'stable than it truly is. It is baron and lifeless much like the Moon is and has always believed to have been, but it is much more difficult to research due to it's erratic behavior (sometimes seeming to orbit the sun more than the Earth, and visa versa.)
Our other moon is believed to be the result of a PARTIAL collision, leaving two smaller bodies after the dust cleared; whereas, Cruithne is thought to have been pulled to more closely orbit the Earth in a satellite-like path around it only just a few thousand years ago!
While the definition of moons and planets has been 'under assault in the past several years (as we have sadly watched Pluto "stripped of it's "planetary status" just recently'!) There is little knowing what direction this little moon will take with the trends of the scientific community, although as your question clearly illustrates, there are few that have even heard of it's existence! It is the EARTH's second moon (just to be crystal clear for those in the back row), not just another of the 500-800 moons of our solar system!
Thank you for your very interesting question, Immeng87
IMAGE: CGI rendering of Cruithne (sometimes called "the Earth's second moon!").
Only one moon, even though it looks different from earth depending on how sunlight shines on it. And even when you can't see it - it's still there! And it's a good thing - without the moon there would be no tides as we know them, and arguably, no life on earth. If we had two moons then our tide patterns would be extremely complex, affecting our weather and again, affecting life on earth dramatically....
Earth only has one moon.
But if you are asking about the different stages of our moon they are full moon, new moon, first quarter & third quarter (also known as half moons) , waxing crescent, waxing gibbous, warning crescent and warning gibbous.
The Earth as we know it, only has 1 moon. Terrestrial planets such as our planet are capable of having 2 moons though. Mars for example has 2 small moons. So it is possible for Earth to gain another moon, although chances of that happening are very slim....
The earth that we live on has one moon. There is other debris orbiting the earth but none of it counts as a moon....
As far as I know one. Unless one hides behind the one we see all the time....