Earth or Not Earth?

by | Jul 3, 2013 | Uncategorized | 3 comments

We’ve just wrapped up our first weeklong workshop for teacher professional development using Terraluna, the educational unit that uses MoonMappers and teaches comparative Earth and lunar geology. The very first activity is an easy favorite at workshops that we call “Earth or Not Earth” that is done on Day 1: Why the Moon. In it, students/teachers/workshop participants are given black and white photos of some landforms as seen from above and they have to decide, is this on Earth or on the Moon? We have an initial set of 14 images that we’ve chosen to get people thinking about what types of landscapes you might seen on the Moon, Earth, or even, with extension, other places in the Solar System. Students end up creating a Venn diagram of surface features seen on Earth, the Moon, or both.

I’m going to start us off with one and ask you, is this the Earth or the Moon? And more importantly, WHY do you think so? Let us know in the comments!


Earth or Not Earth?

Do you have an image that would go well with this activity, one that you think would stump our readers? Send it along to us for the Earth or Not Earth series using this form. PLEASE only submit public domain images, creative commons work, or, if you are so inclined, your own work with permission to use it on our blog and in educational materials.

So get to analyzing this photo, and please, no cheating!


  1. Mark Lam

    Earth – distinct lack of craters and it appears to be erosion due to some form of liquid flow. Fun!

  2. Paul Duffy

    Yep, earth, looks like a volcano – and liquid flow, possibly from the volcano

  3. Nicole Gugliucci

    You guys are totally on top of this! Yup, it’s Earth. Nevado del Ruiz (Columbia), a volcano indeed!

    I’ll be queueing up a new one soon.


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