How It Works

Is the Great Wall of China visible from the Moon?

There’s a long-held belief that it’s possible to view China’s iconic man-made border from the moon. Though it’s a colossal structure – around 8,850km (5,500 miles) in length with some sections up to 9m (30ft) wide – the idea of being able to see it from the moon is pretty far-fetched.

The fact that the moon’s average distance from Earth is 384,400km (238,900 miles) means that to make out an object the size of the Great Wall would be equivalent of being able to see a strand of human hair from a distance of three kilometres (two miles).

What’s more, the wall’s construction materials – wood, earth and local stone – blend in with the surrounding environment, further inhibiting the wall’s visibility and making it almost impossible to see with the naked eye even from Earth orbit.

While astronauts have debunked the theory that the Great Wall can be seen from the moon – Apollo 12 astronaut said “No man-made object is visible at this scale” – the wall can be imaged by radar other high-resolution equipment.

So in conclusion, despite lasting for over 100 years, the theory that the Great Wall of China is visible from the moon is false.




  • Steve

    To see the earth from the moon would be enough for me! I dont ask for much do i??

  • Dr. Geo Douglass

    Is the Houston Ship Channel in Houston, Texas, USA considered a man made object. I believe that can be seen from the moon.