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No. 663: Faster than a speeding bullet![1] More powerful than a locomotive![2] Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound![3]

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Faster than a speeding bullet![1] More powerful than a locomotive![2] Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound![3]

First | Previous | 2017-12-14 | Next | Latest

Strip by: David Morgan-Mar, Andrew Coker

T-Rex: By day it's a mild-mannered rocky orb floating in space. By night it's...
T-Rex: SUPERMOON!
T-Rex: It has all the powers of a moon except 2% bigger!!
Utahraptor: Does it make 2% more werewolves?
T-Rex: Yes!!
Utahraptor: And tides 2% higher?
T-Rex: And lower! (to within measurable accuracy)
T-Rex: Utter Lunacy!!
T-Rex: (2% more, anyway)

The author writes:

[1] The Moon's mean orbital velocity is 1022 m/s.[4] An average bullet travels 762 m/s.[5] Therefore the moon is faster than a speeding bullet.[6]

[2] The most powerful locomotive[7] is the China Railways HXD1, Shenhua Mining Group variant, with a continuous tractive power of 14394 kW. The moon produces tidal acceleration effects which cause the Earth to lose rotational energy at the rate of 3321 GW. Most of this is lost to frictional heating effects caused by the tides, but 121 GW is transferred to the moon's orbital energy.[8] No matter which power you take, the moon is clearly more powerful than the locomotive.

[3] The moon orbits at a mean height of 385000 km above Earth's surface.[4] The tallest building on Earth is the Burj Khalifa, standing 0.8298 km high.[9] The moon can thus easily clear a tall building.

[4] Orbit of the Moon, Wikipedia.

[5] Dodge a bulet, MythBusters.

[6] Although Wikipedia states that muzzle velocity of "high velocity" small arms ranges from 1067 m/s to 1524 m/s. This means some "high velocity" bullets travel faster than the moon - but crucially not all. We do not assert that the moon is faster than all speeding bullets, but merely faster than a speeding bullet. Furthermore, bullets lose speed as they travel through the air, whereas the moon maintains a steady speed, and will no doubt beat any bullet at all in a long distance race, much like the tortoise beats the hare.[10]

[7] List of largest locomotives, Wikipedia.

[8] Tidal acceleration, Wikipedia.

[9] Burj Khalifa, Wikipedia.

[10] The Tortoise and the Hare, Wikipedia.