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If I select satellite imagery in Google maps and zoom out, the Earth is shown in space. It shows light/dark regions correctly updated, but there’s an object between the Earth and the sun. It looks too small to be The Moon.

enter image description here

Is it real? What is it?

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That's the Moon alright, and it's definitely real and definitely there. If you go outside and look at the Sun right now, the Moon will be almost but not quite on top of it, though it's impossible to make out due to the Sun's glare. If it were any closer we would have had a solar eclipse around the time of the New Moon that took place 20 minutes ago. Two weeks from now at Full Moon, it'll be in even better alignment, though on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun this time, which will result in a total lunar eclipse. Mark your calendar!

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, but isn’t the Moon and the Sun of similar size (solid angle) whne viewed from the Earth? $\endgroup$ – Ben Mar 31 '14 at 7:38
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    $\begingroup$ It is. Most of the sun's size in this picture is just glare. $\endgroup$ – David H Mar 31 '14 at 11:38

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