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Moment of Um

101 EpisodesProduced by American Public MediaWebsite

Moment of Um is your daily answer to those questions that pop up out of nowhere and make you go… ummmmmmm. Brought to you by your friends at Brains On at APM Studios.


What would happen to Earth if the moon disappeared?

To us Earthlings, the moon is the ultimate cosmic chameleon. It’s always changing! Some nights it’s waxing, some nights waning, one day it’s full, and just two weeks later, it looks like there’s no moon at all. This is called a new moon, when the face of the moon is entirely in shadow. During a new moon, the moon doesn’t really go away. It’s just too dark to see. But… what would actually happen if we looked up at the night sky, and the moon was gone? We asked astronomer Chris Impey to help us find the answer.

Got a question that’s making you moonstruck? Send it to us at, and we’ll help you land on the answer!

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